I'm writing this in response to a good friend's article/piece on the hijab and some Muslim's hypocrisy related to the hijab and all. (You know, when replying to non-Muslims' questions on the hijab, we go, "Oh, no, no - the hijab is just a choice." YET, we go around condemning the female who DOESN'T wear the hijab. Like, what's up with that, yo? Or we think we're more pious and more Islamic and closer to God and more modest than those be-sharam (immodest) women who don't cover their hair.) And not all Muslim females who cover their hair do so out of personal choice. It's often vying with their Muslim peers. It's done to please others rather than to please your Creator. As I read today, "I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please others." Or you cover your hair, but that's not enough: You've to cover everything else. So you cover your hair, but your chest shows; you cover your hair and chest, but your arms show; you cover all that but your face shows. Like, OH MY GOD! The obligations, the expectations never end, and you just wanna scream and say, "LEAVE ME THE HELL ALONE, WORLD!!!! Leave me to my God!!!"
k, so here. I'm sharing here some thoughts that I shared with her on this. [Pre-script: I use both "She" and "He" for God. Live with it. If God has no gender, then why does it matter if I call Her a She or a He? It's both for me, and I'll use these pronouns as if they mean the same thing -- they mean God.]
We subtly force people to have the kind of faith we do, or to believe the way WE think everyone should believe without realizing that everyone has her/his own understanding of God, that God has a way with every single one of His worshipers, that each person has her/his own pace at which to reach or find God. I remember when a close friend of mine showed interest in Islam and I told some ladies at the Islamic Center nearby, and they were all like, "Hurry, hurry, convert her RIGHT now before she changes her mind!" :S At that time, around 2007, I was very immature and stupid and spiritually empty, so I was like, "OMG, sisters, you all are right! She might change her mind, and then she won't become a Muslim!" So I rushed to pretty much STUFF her with things about Islam ... it's now my WORST regret ever.
If I were to go back in time, I'd tell those ladies with a smile on my face, "If she's gonna change her mind, then she's not ready to be a Muslim, she's not ready to see God your/my way, she's not ready to practice our faith. Or perhaps God hasn't intended for her to become a Muslim NOW if she's gonna change her mind. Let's answer her questions if/when we can and be the best examples of good Muslims that we can be, and if she converts, great; if she doesn't, so be it -- God might have other plans in mind for her." Oh but I can imagine the frowns they'll gift me then!
Ahhh ... yes . . .
Anyway, we can't change the past but only look forward to a future in which we can better ourselves and allow others the space they need or desire to be their own selves. I just can't imagine WHAT kind of a God would wish to put us into hell in order to grant us heaven ultimately! I REFUSE to believe that showing a strand of hair is going to invalidate my prayer, or showing my head is going to deny me the fruits of heaven. No. And what if I don't feel comfortable in a headcovering? Would I not be resenting God the whole time, then? I mean, walking in a street with a hijab on FEELING ANGRY at God because He's making me do something I don't feel comfortable in, something that's inviting attention toward me from everyone else because I look different, I stand out -- how can I appreciate God then? How can I love God then? How can I even DESIRE to get to know this God or get closer to this God? I can't. I'd be resenting Him the whole time.
I'm a staunch supporter of the hijab -- even of the veil (face-covering). I believe EVERY woman should be allowed to cover her face if that's her way of getting closer to God, if that's what she believes it means to be modest, if that's how she attains piety. But she's in NO position to tell someone else, "You're not as close to God as I am because I cover my face, something the wives of the Prophet were commanded to do, and you're not! hah." Uhh ... screw you, you fake Muslimah! How does she know I don't feel even closER to God? In all honesty, I have this REALLY beautiful relationship with God. I believe I'm extremely close to God, and I love it. You know how I can tell? Because I talk to God and I yell at Him. I fight with Him. It's exactly what I express in a poem of mine I've aptly titled "Forbidden."
I literally talk to God, and I literally fight with Him. I get angry with Her when I have too many questions and can't figure out the answers, and then I embarrassingly come back to Her when I DO find the answers and discuss them with Him. But I don't mind, and I don't feel like it's going to send me directly to hell just because I didn't do something She has decided is best for me to do. No. I love this God. I fear Her but not in the way that we're normally raised or taught to fear God. It's like this: You know how you're always afraid of disappointing your favorite teachers or, say, your parents? It's becuase you love them SO much, you wish SO much to impress and please them, to make them proud, but you don't wanna mess up because you don't want to make them less proud of you, you don't wanna disappoint them. It's like that with me and my God.
And so, I don't discuss my relationship with God with anyone because people don't understand. They're like, "You're supposed to do XYZ; no way around it! Stop making excuses for yourself!" Yeah, okay. So what? Who're you to tell me what my God wants me to do? And if I don't do it, what are you gonna do about it? I understand that we should promote what's good and avoid what's bad, but who're you to force me to do it? And why're you picking and choosing which parts of your faith to practice and enforce and which ones to ignore? Hypocrite. Go away.
k ... :D that's all :D