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caadam
11-05-2010, 11:54 PM
Some months ago, when I was still very on fire for the scriptures in the Bible, I had discovered 1 Corinthians 11:3-16 more deeply than I had before. I realized while reading it that this was a call for women to practice the head covering. I was very surprised during that time because I had always been told that the covering was actually the hair. However, as I looked at the Greek and how it translated, it was not so.

After seeing this, I felt convicted to obey God and began to cover my hair. It was not like hijab, though. I would tie my hair in a bun and wrap the scarf around it. I saw this custom as a spiritual one; it was something that I wanted to do for modesty, but to also respect and always remember the authority above me.

So I did this, every day. Not just during service at church, but wherever I went. However, after a while this custom began to lose its meaning to me. As I began to wonder about my faith in the Bible and the truth of God, the more I strayed away from covering my hair. It was like I felt, "What's the point?" What's the point of doing this if I feel like I am not even truly following my God? I feel like I am living a life for myself and not God, so what's the point? It means nothing...

If I were to cover my head ever again, I would want to do it knowing that I am completely devoted to God in all ways. I can't see myself covering my head and living a lukewarm life. It would mean nothing, at least to me.
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serena77
11-06-2010, 12:20 AM
it was ( and for some ) very popular to do during services in the episcopal/catholic services, especially to those who ae older or before vatican too. in some ways i understood it, but the idea of it in Islam makes much more sense to me, and i can't entirely explain why, but i wish i could... i do however agree that if i go to wearing hijab it would be w/ my whole heart and soul in devotion to God.
Serena
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Woodrow
11-06-2010, 01:24 AM
Until about the mid 1900s nearly all Christian denominations required head coverings for woman. But today it seems to only remain an obligation in the Baltic Nations and some Spanish countries. Nearly all Muslim woman I know are very incessant about demanding to wear the hijab. My wife for example would probably break my arm if I told her not to wear it in public. You never want to tell a Muslimah not to wear her hijab if you value staying in one piece.
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caadam
11-06-2010, 01:43 AM
Originally Posted by Woodrow
Until about the mid 1900s nearly all Christian denominations required head coverings for woman. But today it seems to only remain an obligation in the Baltic Nations and some Spanish countries. Nearly all Muslim woman I know are very incessant about demanding to wear the hijab. My wife for example would probably break my arm if I told her not to wear it in public. You never want to tell a Muslimah not to wear her hijab if you value staying in one piece.
:ooh: Well good for them for not sacrificing a practice for the sake of modern culture, like many women do nowadays. I know it wasn't until recently, like four decades ago, that a Christian woman wouldn't dare go to church without covering her head. Whether it be with a scarf, veil, or hat. My mother's grandmother would make her wear a doily to service even. Just take a clip and clip the doily on. Though I really don't see that as a true head covering myself.
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serena77
11-06-2010, 01:47 AM
caadam
its not just Islam ... where it really is intent that means that most. it was still a covering. it was still a show of respect :)
Serena
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IAmZamzam
11-06-2010, 02:15 AM
Originally Posted by serena77
it was ( and for some ) very popular to do during services in the episcopal/catholic services, especially to those who ae older or before vatican too. in some ways i understood it, but the idea of it in Islam makes much more sense to me, and i can't entirely explain why, but i wish i could... i do however agree that if i go to wearing hijab it would be w/ my whole heart and soul in devotion to God.
Serena
Only the Prophets (P) were ever capable of full heart and soul devotion to God (praise Him). Don't worry about that, or any of the other things you've told me about. Your heart and soul will be much less devout at this point if you don't just let go and revert than if you do.
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PouringRain
11-06-2010, 02:43 AM
Originally Posted by caadam

So I did this, every day. Not just during service at church, but wherever I went. However, after a while this custom began to lose its meaning to me. As I began to wonder about my faith in the Bible and the truth of God, the more I strayed away from covering my hair. It was like I felt, "What's the point?" What's the point of doing this if I feel like I am not even truly following my God? I feel like I am living a life for myself and not God, so what's the point? It means nothing...

If I were to cover my head ever again, I would want to do it knowing that I am completely devoted to God in all ways. I can't see myself covering my head and living a lukewarm life. It would mean nothing, at least to me.
Correct me if I am wrong, but it seems like there are two things going on, and they are actually things that I see so common in both Christians and Muslims.

The first is that you began with good intentions, but you began to take it for granted and after a while the initial significance faded. It reminds me of the posts on here reminding others that Ramadan should last all year-- for many get caught up on the fervor for the month and then it fades after. Or like I would observe Christian youth who went away to camp and became on-fire for God, but after returning it fades over time. Or even like a married couple, who began their marriage with passion and fireworks, but over time it fades. These are just some examples of many. It seems common in people to find an initial passion for something (religious or otherwise), but over time there becomes this fading.

And the second thing that seems is happening is when people talk about doing ritualistic types of acts, and after a time it becomes like second nature and automatic, to where the focus on the purpose behind the act has diminished. It is like when I read posts about Muslims who have difficulty maintaining any focus during prayer. (And Christians are no better.) Or putting on a headcovering is more force of habit, rather than for a purpose. Or even saying certain phrases ("praise God", "God willing") become so second nature that they become casually thrown out with abandon. I once heard a rather humorous story about a Christian minister who always said "Praise God!" after everything, and one time he was preaching and he said that all the sinners are going to hell, praise God! :giggling:

I do agree with you completely, that when one performs acts of devotion to God, one should do so out of devotion for God and not for oneself. The reason and purpose should be to honor God and bring him glory. The hedcovering (or any other act of devotion) should bring others to God, not draw them away from him. When we wears any outward sign of devotion to God, we must hold ourself to a higher standard and our entire lives should be a reflection of it. If someone wears a headcovering (or any other outward sign) then walks around cursing, smoking, etc. it only draws people away from God. God wants us to be holy-- set apart. He wants us to live in the world, but not to be of the world.
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serena77
11-06-2010, 03:01 AM
while it may be seen as impossible for those of us to do as the prophets did... i still think that we should strive for no less. no, we may not achieve it, but i think its still important to put the effort in..

Its funny.... I've always asked God.. ( in whichever form ) ... for signs on things... normally... things are pretty clear... the fact that its been almost 2 months since i went to mass... and have my reasons to be afraid of some people at the church is probably my sign... sometimes as all humans we are stubborn about those signs... even when we know its what we should do... .

sister pouring rain i wanted to go ahead and reply to you as well...
You are 100% right. In the catholic church... its so evident. the gloria is sung at almost all masses except certain ones. people sing... they know the words.. they know what it should mean.... ..... or they go to mass.. because they are supposed to.. their parents did... but ask them if catholics believe that the communion is the body and blood of Christ... or just a representation of those... many won't know. thats a big thing in catholic doctrine.

its a shame to me... because no matter what your faith is.... its not your time to balance your check book, plan your grocery list, see what your neighbor wore... or who is dressed more appropriately.

I'm sure it can be the same w/ islamic prayers... i'm sure someone can hear a Nasheed that truly has a significant meaning and they might even sing along... but... forget what it means....
Salaam to all
Serena
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caadam
11-06-2010, 03:45 AM
Originally Posted by PouringRain
Correct me if I am wrong, but it seems like there are two things going on, and they are actually things that I see so common in both Christians and Muslims.

The first is that you began with good intentions, but you began to take it for granted and after a while the initial significance faded. It reminds me of the posts on here reminding others that Ramadan should last all year-- for many get caught up on the fervor for the month and then it fades after. Or like I would observe Christian youth who went away to camp and became on-fire for God, but after returning it fades over time. Or even like a married couple, who began their marriage with passion and fireworks, but over time it fades. These are just some examples of many. It seems common in people to find an initial passion for something (religious or otherwise), but over time there becomes this fading.

And the second thing that seems is happening is when people talk about doing ritualistic types of acts, and after a time it becomes like second nature and automatic, to where the focus on the purpose behind the act has diminished. It is like when I read posts about Muslims who have difficulty maintaining any focus during prayer. (And Christians are no better.) Or putting on a headcovering is more force of habit, rather than for a purpose. Or even saying certain phrases ("praise God", "God willing") become so second nature that they become casually thrown out with abandon. I once heard a rather humorous story about a Christian minister who always said "Praise God!" after everything, and one time he was preaching and he said that all the sinners are going to hell, praise God! :giggling:

I do agree with you completely, that when one performs acts of devotion to God, one should do so out of devotion for God and not for oneself. The reason and purpose should be to honor God and bring him glory. The hedcovering (or any other act of devotion) should bring others to God, not draw them away from him. When we wears any outward sign of devotion to God, we must hold ourself to a higher standard and our entire lives should be a reflection of it. If someone wears a headcovering (or any other outward sign) then walks around cursing, smoking, etc. it only draws people away from God. God wants us to be holy-- set apart. He wants us to live in the world, but not to be of the world.
In ways that did somewhat happen to me, yes. Though for me, when I began to cover my head, it made me look at EVERY angle of my faith. It was then that I saw that I wasn't really doing anything for God, because I was following suit with everyone else with life. I lived it how I wanted to, not how God wanted me to. I would pick and choose how that should happen rather than completely trust God in every thing in my life. It was with that realization that I began to lose the conviction to cover my head.
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IAmZamzam
11-06-2010, 02:38 PM
Originally Posted by serena77
while it may be seen as impossible for those of us to do as the prophets did... i still think that we should strive for no less. no, we may not achieve it, but i think its still important to put the effort in..

Its funny.... I've always asked God.. ( in whichever form ) ... for signs on things... normally... things are pretty clear... the fact that its been almost 2 months since i went to mass... and have my reasons to be afraid of some people at the church is probably my sign... sometimes as all humans we are stubborn about those signs... even when we know its what we should do... .

sister pouring rain i wanted to go ahead and reply to you as well...
You are 100% right. In the catholic church... its so evident. the gloria is sung at almost all masses except certain ones. people sing... they know the words.. they know what it should mean.... ..... or they go to mass.. because they are supposed to.. their parents did... but ask them if catholics believe that the communion is the body and blood of Christ... or just a representation of those... many won't know. thats a big thing in catholic doctrine.

its a shame to me... because no matter what your faith is.... its not your time to balance your check book, plan your grocery list, see what your neighbor wore... or who is dressed more appropriately.

I'm sure it can be the same w/ islamic prayers... i'm sure someone can hear a Nasheed that truly has a significant meaning and they might even sing along... but... forget what it means....
Salaam to all
Serena
The heart often recognizes God's truth long before the mind does. Why not let your mind catch up?
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glo
11-06-2010, 06:03 PM
Great thread and great discussion! Thanks for starting it, caadam :)

I think it is of utmost importance to do what we do out of conviction that it is what God wants us to do, and in order to please God rather than 'fit in with people/groups/congregations' etc.

I had this conversation with a Muslim friend recently, because - like Pouring Rain mentioned - I sometimes too feel that when our religious practice becomes routine and tradition, it is very easy to lose the focus and the attention and to 'just do/say whatever it is automatically and without thinking'.
Sometimes, when I feel like that, I seek a very different way to worship and praise God. Rather that use prescribed prayer I will speak freely with God, or rather than sing the usual worship songs I will find a different kind of music, or rather than pray sitting I will move around during prayer ...
All these things help me to stay fresh and alert in my worship and relationship with God.

My Muslim friend had a different perspective though. He felt that those 'dry times' when his prescribed prayer seemed boring or he lost his focus were tests for him, and also that sometimes just being there and doing it (despite not being fully spiritually present) was a sacrifice and an offering to God.
I found that very interesting, and I can certainly relate to it.
Prayer and worship should be my offering to God. How I feel or how much I enjoy it is not the most important part of it. That I do it for God is what matters most.

Caadam, if covering your hair gives you so much meaning and brings you closer to God, then you should do it.
If it raises your awareness that you could do more to get closer to God, then that should discourage you from doing it. It should be an encouragement to do even more!
As long as you are walking with God and towards God he will delight in you and in everything you do for his glory!

Go for it! :)
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Insaanah
11-06-2010, 08:22 PM
Greetings Candice,

It seems you must be one of the few Christians who feel the need to follow their scripture in totality, rather than parts of it. Even though Muslims believe pictorial or carved depictions are wrong, you still always see Christian statues and pictures of Mary (peace be upon her) with her head covered. I'm not sure whether Mary (peace be upon her) is a role model for Christian women, but we guard our chastity like she did. This is what Allah says about her (amongst other beautiful things about her) in the Qur'an:

"And [mention] when the angels said, "O Mary, indeed Allah has chosen you and purified you and chosen you above the women of the worlds. O Mary, be devoutly obedient to your Lord and prostrate and bow with those who bow [in prayer]" (Qur'an 3:42-43)

As you can tell, she is one of the most highly esteemed women in Islam.

I guess though, there is at least one major difference between Christianity and Islam in the reason for covering the head.

In 1 Corinthians 11:3-10, Paul implies that at least one of the purposes of the Christian woman's headcovering is as a sign of man's authority over woman:

"Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head. And every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head—it is just as though her head were shaved. If a woman does not cover her head, she should have her hair cut off; and if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut or shaved off, she should cover her head. A man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. For this reason, and because of the angels, the woman ought to have a sign of authority on her head."

In Islam however, this is not the case. We cover purely to obey God's command, to protect ourselves. Allah says:

"O Prophet! Tell thy wives and thy daughters and the believing women to draw their cloaks close round them (when they go abroad). That will be better, so that they may be recognised and not annoyed. Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful." (Qur'an 33:59)

I just thought that was interesting, especially as many non-Muslims think that Muslim women cover themselves due to male authority.

Peace.
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caadam
11-06-2010, 10:05 PM
Originally Posted by Insaanah
Greetings Candice,

It seems you must be one of the few Christians who feel the need to follow their scripture in totality, rather than parts of it. Even though Muslims believe pictorial or carved depictions are wrong, you still always see Christian statues and pictures of Mary (peace be upon her) with her head covered. I'm not sure whether Mary (peace be upon her) is a role model for Christian women, but we guard our chastity like she did. This is what Allah says about her (amongst other beautiful things about her) in the Qur'an:

"And [mention] when the angels said, "O Mary, indeed Allah has chosen you and purified you and chosen you above the women of the worlds. O Mary, be devoutly obedient to your Lord and prostrate and bow with those who bow [in prayer]" (Qur'an 3:42-43)

As you can tell, she is one of the most highly esteemed women in Islam.

I guess though, there is at least one major difference between Christianity and Islam in the reason for covering the head.

In 1 Corinthians 11:3-10, Paul implies that at least one of the purposes of the Christian woman's headcovering is as a sign of man's authority over woman:

"Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head. And every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head—it is just as though her head were shaved. If a woman does not cover her head, she should have her hair cut off; and if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut or shaved off, she should cover her head. A man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. For this reason, and because of the angels, the woman ought to have a sign of authority on her head."

In Islam however, this is not the case. We cover purely to obey God's command, to protect ourselves. Allah says:

"O Prophet! Tell thy wives and thy daughters and the believing women to draw their cloaks close round them (when they go abroad). That will be better, so that they may be recognised and not annoyed. Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful." (Qur'an 33:59)

I just thought that was interesting, especially as many non-Muslims think that Muslim women cover themselves due to male authority.

Peace.
If you read a bit closer into Paul's letter, though, it talks about the head covering as symbol of who these women were to the angels.

10That is why a wife ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. (I'm not sure what translation you were using; the N.I.V.? This is what it says in the English Standard Version.)

I suppose that would mean that angels are considered not to be omniscient, as in they don't know every thing that God does at all times, that they only know what God has them know. *shrugs* As well, I find the head covering to be not just to show that man is a woman's authority, but that God is also her authority above any man and prophet, and the covering of her head is a symbol of that for the angels and man.
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Ummu Sufyaan
11-11-2010, 08:30 AM
we don't give up our five obligatory prayers just becuase we feel that when we are praying, it is mere outer actions. we dont stop giving in charity just because we feel we have to give.

yes, to some extent it may become routine, but that doesn't mean we give up. its not necessarily a healthy attitude to adopt in light of our spiritual struggles. secondly, and probably even more importantly, is that we have to ask if it is even obligatory/a condition to that particular act of worship that we feel that sweet feeling or the feeling that we are actually achieving something. of course, it would be great that we feel that inner warmth but if we don't feel that feeling, does that mean that we have nullified that act of worship? therefore if it isn't nullified, would it be right to "boycott" that act of worship taking into consideration that it isn't even necessary to have in the first place?

what im getting at, is that its important to ask what god whats from, rather than ask what we want and expect from ourselves.

something else as well to reflect on, is that just becuase we don't directly sense that nice feeling, does that mean that it doesn't exist? perhaps that sweet feeling is there, only we cant sense it? perhaps its that sweet feeling that has become routine for us (hence not sensing it anymore) rather than the act of worship its-self.



when we get these feelings that we are merely acting on routine, we should atleast stop and analyse ourselves and ask ourselves what we are doing wrong and what is the cause of feeling like this? i like glo's friends approach to take it as a test. giving up anything just becuase of one or two hurdles, is not really doing ourselves any favors, in fact i wold go on to say that it may deprive us of many other good things aswell.
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