Thursday, December 07, 2006

the veil

I once had an english literature teacher who was in her late 20s and sh had the strangest concept when it came to women wearing veils. She was a very decent lady and from previous conversations it seemed that her religious knowledge was pretty good. I don't remember how it came up, but i asked her once why she wasn't veiled and her reply was "here in egypt, the veil is a sign of poverty." She started telling me about how 90% of the veiled girls are ones that come from lower-class families and that their families are the ones forcing them to wear the veil. Being the optimist that I am, I didn't beleive her at the time and i thought she was being unfair to the girls that came from lower-class families and wear the veil out of conviction.

A couple of years ago a friend of mine from college asked if i could go with him to the 6th of October university to meet up with some of his old friends. It was a normal weekday, and the time was around 1:00 pm. When we got there they told us to go meet them at this place i've never seen before despite living in the same city for over 4 years at the time. The "cafe" was on the second floor and they had black-out curtains covering the windows so the place was pretty dark. 4 Huge DJ speakers were placed in the corners, boys smoking sheesha while playing cards at the side, almost everyone was drinking beer. In the middle, around 50 guys were circling a dance area clapping to the music while 6 college girls were belly dancing like crazy. I was mainly surprised that this sort of thing happened everyday but i was really shocked when on my way out i saw one of the girls that was belly dancing wrapping a veil over her head and heading for the doorway.

Looking back at my teacher's opinion, i think what she said is partly true but it's no reason for her not to wear the veil. She was mainly concerned about her prestige and that people would look at her as being a less classy person than she already is.

Why do girls wear the viel in the first place, to please God or society?


Daysleeper said...

well i wore the veil for two years and it's a very ick subject for girls, especially when GUYS talk about it-- because i'm sorry, you'll really never know what it's like, i'm sure you're an empathetic person and

people always assume that once a woman puts a veil on her head that she is now never allowed to commit a sin and is superhuman.

like it's somehow worse for a mohaggaba to be dancing than a muslim girl who doesnt wear hijab to be dancing. it doesn't work that way-- at least i dont remember God going 'oh right you put the veil on so i'm going to have to charge you double for that one' anywhere in the Quran.

you can put the veil on for God and still fuck up sometimes (not that i believe dancing is fucking up in any way shape or form). and sometimes you put the veil on because you're scared to walk on the streets in certain areas or because your dad would disown you if you didn't wear a higab.

it's really complicated. i mean, if you were willing to pluck your eyebrows and wear a 3abaya and a higab on for a few days i might respect your opinions on the matter but right now, i'm just offended.


not that you care. this is an old entry you probably will never check again. ah well :)

greyscale said...

ok...glad someone finally said something about this's one of the more serious ones..and i'm even more glad that i have email notification, telling me when someone posts a comment; otherwise i would've probably never read ur comment.

ok first things first: ofcourse i don't know what it's like to wear the veil..with all the pressure from urself and the people around you, and the responsibility, and the other numerous feelings accompanied by that piece of cloth.

well i think we're mainly disagreeing on one point, which is:
i think that if you're wearing the veil you should know that this dress code comes with great responsibility towards the image of muslims. just like the sheikh...if i see a bearded guy with a white galabeya and a seb7a in his hand stealing a car, it wouldn't be the same as if i saw that same car being stolen by a normal person.

so the guy has to think twice before he decides to wear like that..if he commits any major sins while in that dress code normal people will think that all fundamental muslims are like that...

it's a society thing.

but i do respect ur opinion..and i agree that no person is superhuman...and we all have our sins...however, the "size" of the committed sin makes all the difference when it comes from a person choosing to take his/her religious commitment to the next level by abiding to the dress code he/she feels is the correct way to dress up.

sorry if i offended you in any way, didn't mean to do so.