This is such a sensitive issue that I'm sure I'll get a flutter of angry comments regarding it, but I would like to preface it by stating that I am NOT God (in case anyone was confused) and I can NOT judge nor will I willingly judge anyone. There are pious women who do not cover, and completely black-hearted women who do. I have met both. If I offend you, this was not my intention. And if I offend you deeply, you might want to explore why the subject is so sensitive to you. I welcome any and all comments or discussions that this might bring up because I will attempt to outline my opinion while keeping both sides represented.
I am a hijabi. Does this make me a saint? Certainly not. Does this make me better than you? No, I would never be so vain as to ever consider it. I have my inconsistencies and my own sins and the fact that I cover my body and my hair does not automatically make me the best Muslim out of a group.
But every Muslimah who does not cover is submitted to a silent discrimination from the Ummah. It is assumed that they lack deen (faith) and are not good people. This is often ungrounded and unfair.
Or there are times when they actually suffer discrimination against the scarf from their families or their culture. I met one such sister whose husband refuses to allow her to cover although it pains her to not submit to what she considers the will of God. Or another Turkish sister I knew whose mother threatened to turn her out of their house if she took the hijab.
While I believe that every sister has her personal reasons for covering or not for covering, I can say that I, for one, don't agree with not wearing it.
Because its mandated by God. Simply.
Now, there are definite obstacles that many of us face. Like the sister whose husband doesn't allow it; I would absolutely not tell her to leave her husband in order to wear hijab. Why cover one bad by instigating another? Or the sister from Turkey who would have no place to live, and on her own with two small boys it would be a miserable life, what should she do?
Surely hijab is obligatory yes, but only God can judge their situations, and some are terrible situations, and then make the final call.
But the other sisters who are not in situations like these, I truly cannot understand what their motivation for unveiling is. What is in this world that can drive them to ignore something written in the Quran?
I am not saying that they are less pious for it, I'm just striving to understand why they make that decision.
And I have to be honest that, with the exception of a few convert friends- who deal with family issues that keep them from wearing the hijab- and a few sisters I know who are in similar situations to the two I mentioned above, most of the women that I know who do not veil do not pray as well or adhere to many other pillars of Islam.
While in Egypt, where wearing the hijab is as cultural as it is religious, I found many women who covered but did, said, and believed things that made my hair curl. I was sexually hit on by a woman who confessed that she ached to remove it but couldn't because her family wouldn't allow it.
But here in the US I have found that it is a different story. Many of those women, who are forced into hijab by society back home, take it off here and leave a religion they didn't believe to begin with behind in the process. While myself, and many other women, fight OUR society in this country to be able to wear it.
I have faced obstacle after obstacle. I have been shunned for it. I have lived penniless because of it. But, except for a miserable five week period, I could not bear the thought of removing it.
I'm not saying it makes me a saint, but I am using myself as an example. I have dealt with family shunning me, I have been without a job, I have been harassed, I have faced discrimination, but most of all I have taken pride in following my religion and, for me, wearing hijab was the easiest commandment to fulfill, second only to the commandment to believe that there is no God but God.
I am not saying that it is ok to judge someone's piety by the hijab because obviously this is both faulty logic and obviously not our place to do so. But I can honestly stand up and wonder what exactly is the reason that some chose not to.
Please, enlighten me. I am not here to judge, but to understand.
If you do not wear the hijab, why?
Because to me it seems like both the hardest and yet still the simplest decision to make.
I want to know, and I want to understand.