Recently, I have been the highlight of some people’s gossiping career. I am perfectly fine with that. I have nothing to hide and have always been an open book. The gossip is “oh guess who is not wearing hijab…gasp!” Yes, I am not wearing hijab and I am sure that many have already come up with their own conclusions as to why. And no I do not feel the need to explain myself to them. However, I wanted to share with others in case someone is in a similar situation.
Our community is sadly made up of mostly hardliner Muslims… the ones that suffocate the beauty out of the religion and never fully understand it, but preach it in their oh so hypocritical way. The men are probably the worst culprits of this. They keep up outward appearances, but sadly decimate their families with their authoritarian attitudes while committing sins that undermine family, faith and community. Now I know what many may say as this is always posed to me… so, because they sin, you will sin? But, I always rebut with…just because you are arrogant enough to judge me, does not make you my judge? See, they do not even follow the religion they proclaim to love. Hell, they do not even follow the Prophet they claim to love.
Sadly, Islam has become a regiment of rituals and superficial facade. Very few actually live true Islam. At the heart of Islam is adab, akhlaq and tazkiyah. Adab is good behavior, decency and humaneness. Akhlaq is virtue and morality. Al Tazkiyah is the purification of the heart. All the great scholars were sent to learn these things before learning Quran or Islamic sciences. Today it is rarely addressed and you end up with people who have knowledge but no heart or compassion which makes them heartless, cruel and arrogant.
So, my Mr. Right Now (referring to my 10 year itch), is of this group; knowledgeable in Islam only without the adab, akhlaq or tazkiyah… not to mention worldly knowledge. This makes for a very rigid interpretation and haram police mentality which causes me and my children to feel as if we are not to love life, but just sit and wait to die. I had to take a stand and break this dark cloud in my home and open us up to joy.
The other issue is that I have a thirteen year old daughter. Mr. Right Now, insisted she wear hijab in third grade, long before she had her menses. Due to this, she hated hijab. I, at first, went along in order to not rock the boat. But, I saw how this affected her and then I realized something more saddening. I was teaching her that she has to bend and change who her true self is in order to have a man in her life. I showed her by my actions that my true self was not good enough to be loved. I am worthless unless I conform to someone else’s idea of who I should be. This was devastating. It is not what I wanted to teach my daughter. I was inadvertently taught those things, that I did not live by until I got married. Before, as my friend said, I kicked ass and took names and now here I am being too afraid to be me.
I went to Mr. Right Now and told him that if he had to divorce me, leave me, whatever… do so because my daughter and I are no longer wearing hijab. We have the right to be who we truly are, we have the right to happiness; and hijab and other parts of our religion was between us and God alone. I told him that trying to make us do something was the same as him trying to be God and that is the worst sin of shirk. He is not happy and not sure what he will do. But, I feel as if a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I feel as if someone finally let me out of jail. I am happy and feel closer to God. He knows what is in my heart and I trust Him to know the truth of the matter.