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glo
11-30-2013, 09:48 AM
Hello friends

I am planning to take some time off from this forum for the duration of Advent, but before I go I wanted to share something with you. It's in part a personal story, so I am posting it in the Advice and Support section. I hope that's okay.

I have been part of a local theatre group, who are at the moment putting on a light-hearted comedy show about nuns. I am helping with the tickets, reshreshments etc, and those of us helping 'at the front of house' are also wearing nun's habits (long dress and veil).

Although this is done in fun, it has upset my atheist husband a great deal! Yesterday he said (rightly, I suppose) “a nun's habit is just like a full Muslim veil” and then (wrongly) “these women are all oppressed!”
The latter comment has really upset me.

The idea that women in the West are free from oppression and have free choice is just a lie!
Of course women should not be forced to enter convents as nuns or to cover Islamically – unless they freely choose to do so. But to assume that all nuns and Muslimahs are oppressed and forced or coerced or brain-washed into it, is just so wrong!

I can think of hundreds of ways Western women are oppressed – expected to leave behind their children, earn money and 'be career women'; expected to dress in certain ways, be attractive, behave in certain ways etc.
A large percentage of women in the West suffer from low self-esteem – because they cannot live up to the 'female expectations' imposed on them by the (presumable male-driven?) media.

So my respect to those sisters who choose to turn their backs on those pressures – whether by becoming a nun, practising hijab or rejecting in any other way the oppression of women!
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Muhammad
11-30-2013, 12:09 PM
Hello glo,

Thanks for sharing your experience. Indeed that is the message that many Muslimahs are trying to convey, that dressing in the Islamic manner should not automatically be considered oppression.
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~Zaria~
12-01-2013, 02:56 PM
Hi Glo,

Thanks for the above.

Im glad that you are able to appreciate some of the challenges that muslim women, wearing the hijab/ niqab encounter.

I was just wondering about the following segment of your post -

Originally Posted by glo
Hello friends

......and those of us helping 'at the front of house' are also wearing nun's habits (long dress and veil).

Although this is done in fun......

If Christianity has prescribed a certain manner of dress for women, as exemplified by nuns, then why is it only worn by a minority, and at the rest of times - "done in fun"?

From an islamic perspective, a muslim is one who is living in complete submission to the will of Allah.
While we may appreciate that we are human, and that we are prone to fall short in this regard.....the spirit of a muslim should be such that he/she is always striving to become a better muslim, and to have a desire to be of Allah's most beloved servants.
^ This can only occur if we sincerely make an effort to follow the commands of our Creator and the practices of His final prophet, Muhammad (sallalahu alaihi wasalam) - in all regards, at all times, and to the best of our abilities.

I feel that it is a sad occurrence, when the commands of Allah - The Most Supreme being, who created us out of naught, and who sustains us each and every day, and who showers countless blessings upon us......are taken lightly, or even worse, for a mockery.

Unfortunately, even within Islam, there are muslims who chose to follow only certain parts of the deen, as they may desire.
Again, we are all human - and we evolve in our steadfastness and faith (hopefully, getting stronger, not weaker) - and each person has the right to practice the religion, in the manner that he/ she sees best....

However, I truly find it disheartening when the actual commands of our Creator are belittled (by its very followers), and those who are striving to observe them, made to feel if there is something wrong with them.

Surely, the only reason for this to occur, is when we forget, or else fail to recognize the Majesty and Greatness of our Lord and Creator, to whom we will all be returning to.
There is nothing greater than Him.
And there is nothing greater than His commands upon us.

(I realize that the boundaries that encompass Christianity are much wider than Islam....however, with much similarities between us.
Just thought I would share a personal perspective through the eyes of a muslimah.....)


Peace
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glo
12-02-2013, 08:03 PM
Originally Posted by ~Zaria~
If Christianity has prescribed a certain manner of dress for women, as exemplified by nuns, then why is it only worn by a minority, and at the rest of times - "done in fun"?
Christianity does not prescribe a certain manner of dress for women, sister Zaria (... although this topic would probably belong into the Comparative religions section).
As you mention, Muslim women also have different views on the requirement for wearing the veil. I guess we each have to do according to our own beliefs and convictions and be ready to be judged accordingly one day.

I feel that it is a sad occurrence, when the commands of Allah - The Most Supreme being, who created us out of naught, and who sustains us each and every day, and who showers countless blessings upon us......are taken lightly, or even worse, for a mockery.
I just want to emphasize that by 'doing it in fun' I did not mean that we were ridiculing or making fun of nuns. Please don't think that!

Although the play was a comedy, it's intention was to show nuns as ordinary women with serious and funny sides - not the otherwordly, old-fashioned, out-dated kind of women that our society sometimes thinks of. Some bits were laugh-out-loud- hilarious and others quite profound and thought-provoking.

Most importantly though, I think for all of us - even those who were simply serving drinks - wearing the veil was quite a profound experience for us and affected us all in some way or another.

Wearing the veil for a couple of nights left me feeling that for some women it is a profound symbol of their faith and their willingness to stand visibly out for what they believe in.

And that's why I felt quite upset when my husband made the statement that 'all women wearing the veil are oppressed'.
I may not ever choose to become a nun or a muslimah, but my little experiment has left me convinced that if worn for the right reasons the veil is a symbol of courage and conviction, not oppression!

However, I truly find it disheartening when the actual commands of our Creator are belittled (by its very followers), and those who are striving to observe them, made to feel if there is something wrong with them.
I think that is the point I was trying to make. Women who choose to wear the veil should never be made to feel like it is wrong.
But perhaps at the same token, women who choose not to wear the veil should not be made to feel like they are doing wrong either ...

(I realize that the boundaries that encompass Christianity are much wider than Islam....however, with much similarities between us.
Just thought I would share a personal perspective through the eyes of a muslimah.....)
Thank you for sharing that. I appreciate it. (So much so that I have crept back into the forum for a moment) :nervous: :D
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