You see this handsome man of God?
This is what some of us look like these days.
Yes ladies, we have become hijabi Frollo, and it is not an attractive look.
'What!? Are you talking talking about me? Moi? I am so not a judgy person. I don't think my headscarf makes me better tha-'
(A woman walks past without a headscarf.)
Tuts. May Allah guide her onto the path of hijabi righteousness.
First things first, we really need to get rid of this distasteful 'holier than thou' pompous attitude. Yes, hijabis cover their heads and yes, mainstream Islamic thought views it as a compulsory act of worship. But you ain't Mother Teresa. I'm no saint. None of us are. There are hijabis who don't pray 5 times a day, don't eat halal, have relationships outside of marriage. So judging the religiosity of a woman simply based on whether they cover their hair is stupid, mean and unfair.
It is also no one's bloody business.
We all would like to think ourselves as open-minded and tolerant but subconsciously, it is easy for a hijabi to fall into this type of thinking:
You should wear the hijab.
I wear the hijab. She doesn't.
Therefore, I am more religious/practicing than her.
Therefore, I am in a position to judge her and preach the 'Truth'- cuz I'm such a nice person and have her best interest at heart afterall.
It takes a conscious effort to not think this way, to shed any prejudices or misconceptions we may have about the religiosity of Muslim women who don't wear a scarf or even those who decide to take off their scarves.
Religion is not simply a list of acts of worship. Faith is connected with the spirituality of the individual, and there is no way you can judge a person's spiritual connection to God. Maybe you are more 'practicing' in certain ways. But perhaps this non-hijabi has a deeper connection to the Quran and God. I've seen first hand, that it is possible for 'practicing' Muslims to behave in unethical and very un-Islamic ways.
This is why it is so important that we don't make non-hijabis feel judged or excluded from religious conversations or spaces.
Unfortunately, it would seem that many non-hijabis do feel unwelcome within certain Islamic communities, mosques, ISOC's, which can be dominated by Muslims who dress in certain ways and judge those who don't. I don't like speaking on behalf of others but it essential for our growth as a community to make sure that non-hijabis feel that they belong and are not pushed to one side or exiled because they don't fit into some image we have of the ideal Muslim. At the same time, non-hijabis should feel that it is their right to reclaim their place within Islamic spaces. If you ever feel disregarded or belittled, take a stance. You are not less Muslim than any of us and your voice is important. Your opinions are important.
We also need to change our understanding of what it means to be a good Muslim and allow individuals the freedom and flexibility to explore their spirituality and beliefs without fear of being shunned. It is normal for people to stumble and make mistakes and we should support those interested in reconnecting with Islam or the Muslim community.
So let us all shed the Frollo inside us and welcome our sisters with open arms- okay that sounded a bit cheesy, but still. As for all the non-hijabis out there, people like me can't fight your battles for you, but I can promise to do my best to become a humble and tolerant friend and supporter of your right develop your own relationship with God in your own time and in the way that suits you.
Food for thought for this week's post!
See you all next Tuesday and remember to subscribe on your way out and follow my social media accounts: