Understanding Hijab: Part II

Posted: March 11, 2010 in My Articles

When it comes to sex, the Muslim woman in the eyes of the West is either treated as a sexual being whose sexuality is frowned upon and hence oppressed or treated as a person without any sexual feelings and desires. Of course, both perspectives are extremes, but unfortunately, they are the prevailing two images about Muslim women. And unfortunately, the West does not admit at all that the industry of pornography is a pure Western production.

From the beginning of Islam, sexual issues were treated very frankly and Muslim women were encouraged to inquire about their most intimate feminine concerns. Sexual education isn’t an invention of the West; it is a genuine Islamic practice that was as natural as any other sort of education. Islam is a religion for human beings; hence, Islam admits the sexual needs of people; men and women. In Islam, sex is not a sin, and it is not shameful to have a sexual desire towards the other sex. In fact, Muslim men and women are not encouraged at all to live without marriage. However, Islam has set guidelines for people regarding different sex issues.

Does Islam disrespect women’s intellectual abilities?

All Islamic teachings highly encourage women to seek education and to have a mission and a role in their societies. There is a verse in Quraan that asks women clearly to read anything that increases their knowledge and wisdom. Islam encourages women to have their independent personalities and views, and the history of Islam is full of examples of women who are intellectual and influential in different fields. Among these examples are Aisha, the Prophet’s wife (may Allah be pleased with her), Zubaida Bint Jaafar, and Khawla Bint Thalaba, who questioned her husband’s decision in abandoning her and was not convinced when Prophet Mohammad (Peace Be Upon Him) told her to be patient and follow her husband’s desire. She stayed at the prophet’s door until Allah Himself said in Quraan that He had listened to her and that he doesn’t approve of her husband’s attitude. The list of Muslim women who made a difference and had a role in their societies is endless, and those women were respected for their minds, not for their looks or bodies.

Women and Sex in Islam

Although Muslim women were asked to wear hijab and to be completely modest and decent with men, their sexuality was never denied or frowned upon. Like men, women’s sexual needs are catered for in Islam. Here are some examples from Hadith and from the history of Islam on the condition of women and sex:

  1. 1. Prophet Mohammad used to praise women for being shy and modest when they are among men, yet at the same time he used to highly praise women who ask many questions and inquire about all life’s issues even the most embarrassing and intimate ones. He used to encourage women to be knowledgeable and to never let shyness stand in their way.
  2. 2. Prophet Mohammad spoke about sex very candidly, and he is probably the first person to talk about foreplay and tackle the issue of orgasm. There is a hadith narrated by Anas Bin Malik that says the Prophet said: “If one of you makes love to his wife, he should do it with honesty. He should not rush his wife. He should wait until she is satisfied.” In another Hadith he says:  “Don’t make love to your wives without a messenger; foreplay and kissing.”
  3. 3. The Prophet (peace be upon him) also said that there is a reward from Allah for the man when he makes love to his wife. The companions asked the prophet then: do we get a reward for doing something that is for our own pleasure? He said: Aren’t you punished when you have sex with a woman who is not your wife? So you will be rewarded when you make love with the right person in “Halal”.
  4. 4. Islam has also catered for women’s different sexual needs. Islam knows that some women are more sexual than others, so he gave any woman the right to ask for a divorce if her husband does not fulfill her sexual needs. Women in Islam were never ashamed to complain to the prophet about their impotent or sexually weak husbands. There was a woman who came to the prophet and told him that her husband couldn’t please her sexually, especially because she was married before him to a better man. The prophet asked her: do you want to remarry your first husband? She said yes, and the prophet approved. No blaming was done. No complications. No accusations of the woman’s chastity. No one called her a whore or a slut because she preferred one man to another. It was indeed a simple, healthy, and natural society. If a woman asks for a divorce these days for such a reason, the whole society will scorn her and accuse her of the worst things!
  5. 5. Sometimes women reach a phase where they just cannot tolerate or love their husbands anymore in a way that makes martial life very difficult. There was a woman who came to the Prophet and told him: My husband is a great man in every sense, yet I hate being a disobedient and disrespectful wife. I hate him! The prophet said: what did he give you as a dowry? She said: a garden. He said: return his garden, and you are free.
  6. 6. The companions also followed suit. While Omar Bin Al-Khattab (The Second Khalifa) (May Allah be Pleased with Him)  was once wandering around the city to guard it and check the safety of his people, he heard a woman reciting a poem that said:

The night has spread and darkened without me having a lover to cuddle

If it weren’t for the fear of Allah, I would have turned this bed into pleasure

But my fear of Allah and my modesty prevent me, and my husband is more honorable and dignified than to be disrespected this way.

After hearing this, Omar Bin Al-Khattab (May Allah be Pleased with Him) asked about the woman who was living in that house, and he was told her name and that her husband went for “Jihad”. Omar rushed to his daughter Hafsa (the Prophet’s wife) and asked her: “for how long can a woman tolerate being away from her husband?” She said: “Why are you asking such a question?” He said: “I want to do what is best for Muslims.” She said: “around 5 or 6 months.” As a result, Omar changed the time the troops should be away, and he made it as follows: one month for going, 4 months for fulfilling their mission, and one month for returning, so any man would not be away from his wife for more than 6 months.

  1. Related to the issue above, Islam has set a time limit for husbands who abandon their wives for no clear reason. Most scholars agree that a woman has the right to ask for divorce if her husband is out of the country for more than one year for no clear reason. And even if the husband’s absence is justified, but the woman cannot stand being without a husband, she can ask for a divorce without paying her husband any money or returning the dowry.
  1. In Islam, there is no conflict between a woman’s sexuality and her chastity and wisdom. One of the known stories about a famous Muslim woman, Aisha Bint Talha, is her story with one of her friends. Aisha was known for her wisdom, knowledge, dignity, and modesty. A friend once came to Aisha Bint Talha’s house, and while she was there, Aisha’s husband, Amr Bin Obaid, came and wanted to talk to his wife. They went together to their room, but the friend could overhear them. She was shocked at what she heard, for she heard things that were not expected of a respectable woman like Aisha. When Aisha came out, her friend told her about her astonishment at what she heard. She said: I can’t imagine a woman of your status in society doing such things!

Aisha said: Why do you deny such a thing?

Her friend said: It would have been better to do these things at night when no one can hear you!

Aisha said: Well, at night there’s much more…when my husband sees me, he likes to do whatever he wants, and there is no harm in going with the flow and enjoying…

Aisha Bint Talha was a notable woman in her society, and her sexuality didn’t contradict with her being a good Muslim woman.

It just saddens me that some Muslims deny women their right to have feelings and desires, and this denial is not done just by men, but by women themselves. Some Muslim women believe, unfortunately, that if you are to be a good Muslims, you should deny your desires and “ascend” above all desires and mundane trivialities. Well…”ascend” is not the right word here, ladies! If you are with your husband, the word “ascend above desires” should NOT exist in bed! You will still be a good Muslim even if you enjoy intercourse with your husband.

Muslim Women and the Balance Between Beauty and Hijab

We, women, love to be beautiful and attractive wherever we are. If you deny this, then you are not a woman. Beauty among so many other things is a major concern for women no matter how educated or not educated they are. Some just don’t have the time to take care of their beauty, but deep inside they wish to be beautiful. From the dawn of history, women have used all the natural resources they had to beautify themselves. It’s part of our humanity and femininity. I am talking here about the natural innate desire to be acceptable and beautiful; not about the obsession with beauty, cosmetics, and plastic surgery. Of course, Allah has created us and knows our nature, and He also knows that men usually misinterpret our nature and our need to be beautiful. Men usually think that if a woman takes care of her beauty and shows it, she wants something…and that “something” is usually sex! Well, we women know it’s not always this way. Many women, like myself, want to feel and be beautiful all the time for ourselves. It makes us feel better when we dress up nicely. We feel better when we style our hair and have some simple make up on. It’s as simple as that! Unluckily, men don’t see it this way. They see it in atotally different way: You wear make up? You focus on your lips? You show your cleavage? You wear tight clothes that reveal your feminine curves? Well….you are a hotty and I am the man for you, baby!

And please..don’t tell me American or Western men are different ..Along with all the books and research I’ve read about American men’s behavior and feelings toward women, I’ve also known a few of them..and I know very well how American men think. The civilized gentleman “appearance” of the western man doesn’t deceive me. According to an American survey in the 80’s, when men see a woman for the first time, more than 90% of American men think “how does she look naked? How does she look in a bikini?”

See related studies:

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/02/090216-bikinis-women-men-objects.html

http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/02/19/women.bikinis.objects/index.html



This is not to blame men or to insult them. Most men think this way because it’s their nature. Some are too good and smart not to show it. Some know how to deal with it and control it. Others brag about it, and others don’t know how to control themselves.

Of course, there are the “sophisticated, educated” ones who deny it, and there are the ones who don’t feel anything toward women; those are impotents, of course. 🙂 No offence, brothers, but some women are so stupid regarding men’s nature.

And here comes the role of hijab. It quenches both women and men’s desires and focuses their energies on something more honorable and more productive. Hijab is meant to make both men and women focus on more important issues than flirting and courtship. Islamic teachings look at the bigger picture; building the nation…being productive…fulfilling the mission of building this earth as Allah wanted it. I know this sounds strange, especially when you Westerners try to relate it to Arab nations today. This is NOT what Allah has meant us to be..this is not what Allah created us for.

If you take a look at the Islamic history, you will know what I mean.

http://www.1001inventions.com/

If Muslims at that time were preoccupied and obsessed with women and flirting, they would have never made all those achievements.

Staring at women lustfully all the time is not what a man should be doing, but if he sees flesh around him all the time, he will turn into a beast.

Focus on your jobs and on productivity, gentlemen. That’s how you build nations! 🙂

Ladies, showing your beauty and exposing parts of your breast, thighs, and hips doesn’t send any respectful message about you even if you are respectable. Once I saw a documentary about women and work in the UK where they discussed many issues that working women face in Britain and interviewed a few experts. One of the experts said: when a woman comes to work with a very short skirt and with her breasts popping up from her blouse, why does she complain that men don’t respect her, don’t take her seriously, or don’t listen to her? Well, what does she expect with her exposed body sending all those wrong messages?

I was really surprised to hear this from a British woman who have probably never heard about Islam and hijab, but I guess it’s human nature everywhere.

For us Muslim women, the issue is very difficult. It is our “jihad” and our struggle in life. Allah knows our nature, and so He has given us an alternative; dressing up as beautifully as possible to our husbands and in front of women and other family members. However, with the increasing number of unmarried women, this seems to be very difficult to maintain. That’s where the problem lies. Many young girls have this urge to be beautiful without any bad intentions, but they are always mistaken for “sluts” because of their provoking appearance. I think all Muslim women should know that when they are wearing hijab or dressing up decently, they are doing it for Allah, and they will be rewarded for this. I just can’t but respect Egyptian, Syrian, American, and Lebanese young women who live in open societies where “flesh” is everywhere, yet they have chosen to cover up and follow Allah’s obligation. They are really strugglers. I so much admire their confidence in their appearance and their strength in carrying on in such a way and in societies where they are judged because of their hijab.

In Saudi Arabia, I believe, we are making the impossible balance. We love beauty like all women around the world. We take very good care of our bodies, and we try hard to be decent yet elegant. That’s why we choose our fancy abayas and wear make up with the hijab. Some might say “that’s not hijab”…yes … it is not how it is supposed to be, but it’s better than nothing. At least some of us are trying so hard to be within the limits of decency.  Moreover, I feel the abaya is a blessing. A Saudi woman can stick to her hijab and beliefs, yet at the same time, under the abaya, she can be a beauty queen. We celebrate our beauty and femininity everyday without provoking men and without upsetting Allah.  It is no contradiction; it’s the balance that Western women cannot understand; How can such a being covered in a black cloak be so pretty and sexy at the same time? We are covered in black, but we are also human beings who have the right to be beautiful and to buy dresses and accessories from any brand name that we choose. It’s no sin in Islam to be beautiful or to buy brand names. It’s no contradiction. The contradiction lies when a woman works as a prostitute at night and wears hijab in the morning. The contradiction lies when a woman hides her personality and does all the nasty things under hijab. The contradiction lies when you call for something in public and do the opposite when you are alone. When we I wear the Abaya and make sure that no man sees my body or my beauty, and then go to work dressed up elegantly, it’s not a contradiction. I am pleasing Allah and pleasing my femininity at the same time. We don’t dress up for other women; we dress up for ourselves…to satisfy the woman inside of us, and probably, to get compliments from other women, and we’re usually sure that  99% of the time these compliments have no hidden meanings… they are compliments for the sake of compliments…lesbians usually don’t compliment other women; they hit on them immediately, and this rarely happens in our society. I don’t care how many studies or newspaper articles you’ve read about Saudi lesbians;  I only care about what I see around me. This is the reality; not the silly paid writers! Throughout my life I have met only two lesbians; one was Saudi and the other was an Austrian woman at a lingerie shop in Vienna! We are a society of women who love and admire men and seek a settled married life with men we can grow old with…..sorry to defeat the image some have formed about us…but that is another topic

Soon you will read in this blog stories about real Saudi women like you have never known them!

References:

Fiqh Al-Sunna by Al-Sayed Sabiq

Tohfat Al-Arous or The Happy Islamic Marriage by Mahmoud al-Estanbouli

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Comments
  1. […] https://saudirevelations.wordpress.com/2010/03/11/understanding-hijab-part-ii/ Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Muslim Dress Code“Contemporary Muslim Woman” Series: And off with his head..or should I … […]

  2. Ali says:

    mash’Allah, although I’m a guy I enjoyed reading this as I did part 1. you seem like a strong Muslim woman who knows what she wants from life.

    salaam

    • مها نور إلهي says:

      Thanks a lot Ali for your encouraging words. I wish I could be a strong Muslim woman.. I am just trying to ascend.

  3. Muhammad says:

    Salaam aleikum,

    Thank you very much for this piece – it is very well written. This all sounds very nice, and I am a guy so forgive me, but unfortunately many facts or realities contradict this nice idea. Don’t get me wrong – it really is a great idea. But domestic abuse and sexual harassment rates in the middle east are higher than in the west – the same west that apparently only thinks about sex all day. According to the BBC, over 70% of women in Cairo feel they are harassed daily. It got so bad in the last years that the government had to step in to put an end to it. According to a piece on Al Bawaba, divorce rates in Islamic countries are dramatically increasing – in 2007, 40% of marriages in Riyadh ended in divorce, a 60% increase from 10 years ago, and the numbers are rising. 40% of marriages in Qatar end in divorce, and 25% of divorces in Kuwait end in divorce. These numbers are only increasing. Domestic abuse statistics, which are hard to come by as our society simply does not talk about such things, are estimated to be very high. Iran has temporary marriages that are little more than religious-approved prostitution. The tales of Saudi men becoming gay or going to Beirut or Asia are well known as well.

    Lastly, the West differs from putting the burden of “sex” onto the women – instead, the West allows women total freedom to do whatever they want, and instead puts the burden on the MAN to act like a gentleman and restrain himself. Women and men, therefore have total freedom, and can cover up/be modest (and many have chosen to convert to Islam) or not – it is up to them. Seeing how many of my friends and their families leave to go to Europe to live and work in “freedom”, I think something has to change. They would not all be moving there if your claims that the men only think about sex were true.

    Sorry to speak so frankly – but we must confront these things. insha Allah we will figure out how make everything normal and even.

    salaam

    • مها نور إلهي says:

      Thank you very much Muhammad for your words and comment.
      All what you are saying is true. Cairo and some Gulf countries have so many problems, but this is not because of Islam. It is because these countries don’t practice Islam the right way. When I go to Cairo, I don’t feel I am in an Islamic country .. I just don’t see Islam practiced in any way except in mosques. Sheikh Ali Al-Jiffry explains that the problems and distortion in the modern and contemporary Islamic countries are due to their lack of identity and lack of knowledge about religion.
      However, the same rates and even higher are announced about Western countries.
      Here are some links:
      Rape Statistics:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_statistics
      A fatherless America:
      http://www.americanvalues.org/html/bk-fatherless_america.html
      Sexual Harassment:


      Teen Pregnancy:

      I am not trying to show which culture is best or worst…actually, I am not a fan of any contemporary culture … what I am trying to say is that when Islam is not followed, problems occur even in Islamic countries. Don’t think that the name “Islamic country” gives any country immunity against problems…it’s the right practice of Islam that creates healthy societies …
      Islam is not practiced in any country today. Even in a country like Saudi Arabia who claims to represent Islam, the practice is not done the way it is supposed to be.
      But at least, as a woman, I feel so safe in Jeddah. I can go out in the middle of the night alone without the fear of being raped or even robbed.
      And you are right about the Western gentlemen… if you were a woman, you would know and realize how this “Western gentleman” looks at women and how he does all the nasty things to get what he wants without being blamed…Only women can tell who is the “real” gentleman and who is not..Luckily, I’ve know a few real gentlemen who made me trust Saudi men 🙂

      I just hope I can fulfill my mission and role in my society and try to explain my religion in a simple way from a woman’s perspective.

      Thank you for your enlightening comment.

  4. ADNISA says:

    A very deep, interesting and thought-provoking post. I have never been this amused by reading an article on Hijab. The headscarf appears to be a sign of opression and lack of freedom to the rest of the world which is sad. Many woman have paid the price of practicing strict hijab in a non-muslim country. One incident recently occured in which an arab woman was asked to leave the class because of her niqab. We need more of such articles to create awareness and remove the stereotype against hijab. Good post.

    http://adnisa.wordpress.com/2010/03/12/woman-kicked-out-of-french-class-twice-due-to-niqab/

  5. مها نور إلهي says:

    ADNISA
    I am so glad that you found Part II interesting and amusing.
    The story you’ve posted is very sad… I wonder why is it ok for one woman to go naked and it’s not ok for another to be decent?!

    thanks for the link.

  6. Chiara says:

    Maha–A very interesting Part II. I think I may have to do a post and link your Parts I and II! LOL 🙂

  7. coolred38 says:

    “No offence, brothers, but some women are so stupid regarding men’s nature”…you got that right. Some women seem to think that modesty and lowering the gaze and preventing any form of sexual activity from happening is all HER responsibility because men are just a penis waiting to be brought to life with the slightest flick of a lock of hair. So sad.

    Women are beautiful. Apparently God made us that way for a reason…the world is full of beautiful things…but women are the only creature meant to hide that fact? So sad.

  8. مها نور إلهي says:

    Coolred
    Who said that the man is not responsible? If you understood my words wrongly, then I am so sorry for you. In Quraan, men are asked before women to lower their gaze. And the punishment of adultery is EQUAL …both men and women have the SAME punishment without questioning the responisble party because they are both responsible in the eyes of Allah. When adultery happens, both share the responsibilty unless it is a rape case.
    If you slap someone, and then they slap you back, you take part of the responsibilty. Same idea with hijab.
    However, if a woman is dressed up decently, and a man still gazes at her, he takes full responsibilty and he is a sinner while she is not to take any responsibilty. Everybody has to their part. Yet…when a woman gets preganant from a lover outside the institution of marraige, she is usually the one who pays the highest price and that is obvious in the number of single and abandoned mothers in the West..and obvious in the rising number of pregnant teens who don’t know sometimes the father of their children.

    Hijab is meant as a precautious procedure..nothing more and nothing less…it is a test for both men and women…the whole idea of existing on Earth is a test…to test those who are worthy of Paradise…
    By the way, in Islam there is a dress code for men as well, and they are required to do so many things more than women…
    Please don’t take my words and misinterpret them.
    Allah has given us all the methods that help us live a better life, but if we fail, it’s our fault either becuase we misintrepreted Allah’s teachigns or didn’t follow them.
    and again, we are all human beings…Islam is meant for human beings who make mistakes all the time and then asks for Allah’s forgiveness…Allah says: if you were not to sin, I would create other people who commit sins and ask for my forgiveness.

    thank you

  9. Faraz Omar says:

    Yet another brilliant piece. Masha Allah… very important to educate people about haya in a time of declining morals… thank u so much .. jazaak Allahu khair

  10. coolred38 says:

    “Who said that the man is not responsible”….regardless of what the Quran does or does not say concerning responsibility from BOTH genders…we live in the real world and in the real world, that being the Arab world, when it comes to “Islamic practice” the female is ALWAYS responsible and to blame for any and all sexual activitiy that happens to take place, with or without her consent.

    Im not taking your words wrong, I read them and understand them very well. I also lived in the Arab world for 23 years so there are two Islams when it comes to Arabs…the one written in the Quran that gets touted on blogs and in the media as the “religion of peace” and “the only one giving women rights back in the day blah blah blah” and then the Islam in which man is King and women a mere appendage. We all know which one gets practiced with more devotion and dedication not to mention sacrifices to the ManGod.

    And yes I understand its Arab culture but this culture is passed off as Islamic practice and THAT is what muslims are taught as Islamic…cant argue with that fact…you as a woman in the Arab world know that better than I do.
    thank you

    • مها نور إلهي says:

      Coolred..
      you live in the real world, and I make my own world. What you are saying is so true, but me and so many other good and strong Muslims don’t really care about what the society says….and as one of my friends puts it “as long as it’s not pissen God, the hell with the world!”
      I am so glad that you understand the difference between the Arab culture and Islam…I care only about Islam…the Arab culture doesn’t mean that much to me…I am not an original Arab anyway 🙂
      The Arab culture only concerns me when it agrees with Islamic teachings…otherwise, it is just a man-made culture like all cultures in the world.. when a woman knows her rights in Islam and knows what she is meant for no man or culture can control her… I believe that knowledge is power, and I am practicing this every single day of my life.
      thank you

  11. coolred38 says:

    “when a woman knows her rights in Islam and knows what she is meant for no man or culture can control her”

    tell that to all the 8 year olds being forced to marry old men…sounds like ThEY are being touched. Sorry sister but you live in a man’s world…and like you I dont care much for it and ignore most of it…but when it wants to reach out and touch me (while I lived there) by God it did and I couldnt do much about it for the most part.

  12. Ali says:

    ^^^why do you do this on all muslim/arab blogs, I’ve read some of your comments on other blogs as well and it seems you’re always trying to start an argument. you don’t have to agree with people’s opinions but show some respect

    • coolred38 says:

      Im not arguing…but I will mention one more thing…Arabs cant take critisizm…AT ALL. You dont agree with them your arguing or an atheist. Nice.

      • مها نور إلهي says:

        Well that might be true about Arabs and about so many people around the world, but what is 100% true is that you are generalizing.

  13. Y Q says:

    lol @ coolred

    so if i am to say “westerners think theres only one way and that is “their way” i wouldnt be wrong… would i ???
    and please notice yourself generalizing. in your eyes if this is extremism, women are forced, males are dominant, and all the anti-women/arab feelings tht u wanna throw in..
    then to me women in the west are thrown away in the market like a thrash, your culture FORCES them to work, to unveil, to look “sexy” and “please” their boss “master” to get promotions and motivations even if shes modest and a decent person (you cannot ignore this fact, studies have shown over n over again that it still happens even in most ethically recognized corporations). while women in arab countries are harassed by getting followed in malls (yet not touched), or a few inappropriate words (like take my no. etc etc), women in your culture get harassed in a completely different level. a physical level where one grabs her back, pushes himself on her, and whatever that happens there.
    so if someone from the west speaks of how women are segregated in the middle east it is because these things are extremely minor to them when comparing them to their own culture and level..
    your women loose their virginity far much earlier than an arab women and thru pre-marital relationships.
    if you say your men respect women than i say why does he do so until hes in his uniform or suit? and as soon as the “business meeting” is over the same respectful man hits the club and grabs a woman or two and God knows what happens. as a matter of fact, doesnt even hit the club, one of his business colleagues (with whom he was maintaining extremely high respect during working hours) is his victim?
    why? if youre men are very respectable and not “hungry beasts” like you say then why the rape of Iraqi women? afghani women and boys? why are your “HEROES” doing this? the army reports 11% increase in internal rape: http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/03/16/military.sexual.assaults/index.html?iref=allsearch

    if the problem is with the Muslims then whats up with the history of rapes of little boys in churches???

    you see just because the media says “Islam is bad” and “these are the Muslims” does not mean you believe it blindly. the media has its own history of conspiracies and lies so be careful with what you believe in. why such a narrow mind?

    • coolred38 says:

      I dont rely on the media to inform me about what the middle east/Arab world is or isnt…I lived it for 23 years. I think that qualifies me to give my opinion.

      btw if you THINK that girls i the arab world arent busy losing their virginity too..either willingly or by force…then I suggest you are a very naive and sheltered lad and need to open your eyes and SEE those around you.

      While the church was busy molesting little boys…the men in the Arab world are busy buying little girls and calling it marriage. Everyone has their own little child abuse stories to tell…ive got my own as well…whatever.

      I might also add that harrassing by Arab men does NOT only entail following and not touching…rather than make such a sweeping statement of which you could not possibly have a clue about…why not do an impromptu survey of women in the Arab world and ask them whether they have ever been harrassed and whether or not it has led to more than just following. What a truly laughable statement to make.

      One more thing…I have never said American men are respectable and better than Arab men or any other race of men..but this blog is about Muslims/Arabs etc..and so that is what we comment on.

      My mind is not narrow…but it does reside in the real world…where does yours hangout?

    • مها نور إلهي says:

      Y Q
      Thank you for your comment and for the link.

  14. مها نور إلهي says:

    m not arguing…but I will mention one more thing…Arabs cant take critisizm…AT ALL. You dont agree with them your arguing or an atheist. Nice.

    Don’t you think that statement is a generalization?

    ***
    I didn’t say that my 60 virgin relatives are better…didn’t say that at all…this is your assumption of the way I think … you said not all Arab girls are virgins, and I told you that you are right, and I just mentioned the example of my female relatives as a fact, not to say that they are better or worse…better or worse wasn’t and would never be my concern… my concern was to show that the good and the bad exist in all societies…my concern was to show that losing one’s virginity in my society isn’t as common as you have assumed…
    I didn’t say you are hateful of Arabs… I said you are negative because you keep talking about the bad experiences that you’ve gone through in the Arab world… you say that you’ve lived in Arab countries, specifically Bahrain for 23 years and had so many awful experiences… I wonder why a free woman like you chooses to stay in a place where she doesn’t feel her humanity!
    Again… I don’t mind you disagreeing with me..Many people do ..even a lot of Saudis…and I am so used to it… but you need to think about your attitude ….probably the thing that you lack is good communication skills with people from other cultures….read your comments again and try to figure out where you were so bitter and negative to the extent that you took the topic from a topic to discuss to a topic to argue about and throw accusations….
    read my last comment well and try to make use of it… I’ve helped a lot of negative and bitter women like you and I am more than willing to help you think more positively about everything …
    peace

  15. suraya says:

    salam maha,

    i like these two posts very much. very informative.

    hijab was uncommon in my country some twenty years back. when the first girl (that was my big sister) started wearing hijab, she had hard time convincing others that she was on the right track. the move was not welcome even by some members of my family. in my school where muslim made up only one third of the student population, only one girl wore hijab. but now the scene of hijabi is common and not an issue anymore. sadly though some of these hijabis wear hijab for the wrong reason. as a result they wear hijab at one place and without hijab somewhere else. and those who do not have in-depth knowledge of islam look at these girls and think these are the liberal or tolerant muslims.

    and also an under-age girl was forced to marry a man as old as his father in my country recently. of course this is something new here and many were upset. the girl was eventually saved by her mother who lodged a police report. what the crazy man has in common with those who see nothing wrong with this kind of marriage and with those who think the man represents an extreme muslim is all of them think islam allows such marriage as the prophet (pbuh) did marry the under-age aisha.

    for what i know, they are only practicing, partially-practicing or non-practicing muslim. knowledge does make a difference. islam must be taught the right way, practiced for the right reason and learned with ‘eman’, humble heart (to the Creator and not to anyone or anything else) or at least with a good intention.

    sorry for my long comment. last but not least, would like to share my favourite hadith;

    ‘actions are but by intention and every man shall have but that which he intended. thus, he whose migration was for Allah and His messenger (pbuh) his migration was for Allah and his messenger (pbuh). and he whose migration was to achieve some worldly benefits or to take some women in marriages, his migration was for that for which he migrated’

  16. suraya says:

    in my previous comment when i said ‘when the first girl started wearing hijab…….’ i meant the first in my family….

  17. katariina says:

    hi, i just wanted to chip in my 5 pence 🙂
    the posts about hijab are very good and informative.

    I have a question though to which I couldn’t find or see the answer in your posts.
    I understand modesty and am very much in favour of it. It seems unreasonable to me though to see women in Saudi wear all black in this scorching hot. What I can’t wrap my head around is that only hands and feet can be visible (according to some interpretations of Qur’an you are supposed to cover your face). Generally the purpose is modesty and decency. Could you please explain to me how unveiled for example forearms or arms altogether are the source of indecency?
    What is the purpose for covering from head to toe? does it bring you closer to God? what is the reason behind it? what i’m trying to say is that hijab in saudi, yes if one chooses to do so, but what i can’t understand why other modest and decent clothing is not accepted?
    that doesn’t seem like a lot of freedom of choice to me.

    Also, how is it fair to see a saudi family at the seaside with kids playing around, wife fully covered and a husband in a t-shirt of without, shorts etc? it’s like saying that women do not feel arousal at all by seeing all those guys in tight swimming trunks at the beach?
    If man only think about sex and cannot control themselves why don’t they just stay at home? If they can’t handle it? they can’t handle an inch of a forearm? an ankle? why is it the woman who has to cover from head to toe so as not to attract or even worse arouse a guy on the street?
    it also seems to me that the woman’s body is demonized to ridiculous levels in saudi. God created us in such a manner so we can give birth to children (hence the hips) and feed them (breast). why is something so natural as breast, which fed those stupid religious scholars as well, being presented as a cradle of sin?
    It has nothing to do with modesty but simply blaming women for who they are and how they were made to be.
    If the hijab (modesty and decency) is advised for both sexes why only women are obliged to follow it to the letter and men don’t? if women don’t follow it then they get ostracized by the society (i’m speaking about Saudi know as I happen to have a little knowledge of how it is in other countries)? So the faces or any skin of women on product packaging is blackened with a black marker while it’s okay to see guys half naked dipping in the sea or explicit male gym ads.

    And I also understand that you are speaking about the ideal and ‘pure’ Islam and only islamic teachings. Of course you are free to believe in whatever you want but it is kind of unreasonable (i was striving to find a better word here) but you have to acknowledge that none of the things that happen in this universe happen in the vacuum. and particularly religion happens in a cultural context. you can’t deny it. so what you believe in is fine but it’s a completely different story when the government and religious scholars impose on their citizens fatwas that are not even in compliance with islamic teachings. to me saudi practices are far away from what’s written in the Qur’an. that’s why i will not convert to islam because it depends so much on the culture that it is being practiced in.
    and the segregation taken to absolutely ridiculous levels that actually prevents the unity of the ummah or the family unit.

    apologies if anything I said was insulting. It certainly wasn’t my purpose. and of course would be grateful for a reply.

  18. R2468 says:

    Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but NOT their own facts.

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