Monday, August 08, 2005

Underneath the jilbab....

So, I was just thinking the other day how now that I am Muslim, there are things I will never do in public... I think about it sometimes, how these things would change me, how I am different because of Islam. And it seems that I have simply traded one brand of visibility and controversial behavior for another.

So, before I was a crunchy gal... Now I am a crunchy gal in a jilbab. I still have my tie-died peace sign shirts, my Hathor the cow goddess MOO! shirt, my pro-choice shirts... I still wear two braids like Heidi or something... Everything you might expect from a new age hippie. I even still like to wear bibs, peasant blouses and Indian skirts. Just now you will never see them. The one thing you will not miss is my Birks. Yeah, I wear them with socks... I wear them unless my feet get frozen stiff then I trade them for Uggs.

Why is this significant? Most people would never think I have these thoughts. Most people see me and they automatically assume I am a conservative straight laced person... Because of how I dress. So have I given up making some sort of statement by wearing hijab? Maybe I have. But, I am still controversial, just in a different way now.

Also, I was much more outspoken before I became Muslim... I was much more likely to get in your face about something. Now, no way. I think if I wasn't Muslim, trying my best to have good adhab... I would be nursing in a baby-doll t-shirt yanked up over one breast, wearing my pregnant belly out there in the air, and generally being more up front about my feelings. Don't get me wrong; I have been known to tell moms things like "Just don't show up for the induction!". And, I have told a doc or two my personal thoughts on parenting with no deletions or softened truths. I have also been really outspoken about the benefits of natural birth and BFing, but would I be even more so if it weren’t for Islam?

I think the answer is yes, I would be. And maybe here in this culture people would listen to me more if I weren't a veiled woman. But, now I see my calling as different. I see myself as a person out there and in the ummah to share my strong feelings with other Muslim women. I don't think my voice is stifled, just re-directed. And, maybe in the end that is a great thing. Now I can tell people about how women in Islam aren't oppressed at all. I can show people that Muslim mothers are sensitive to the needs of their children. People can see through me Islam as a living breathing mother, and maybe relate more to the deen through me than through a text book. And maybe the general population wouldn't listen to a person wo was too "out there" anyway.

So here I am, still getting the stares I have always gotten. Just now for different reasons. Better reasons.

1 comment:

UmmBadier said...

Asalamu Walaikum Sister,
Masha Allah, I have been enjoying digging through your blog SO MUCH! I consider myself straight-up Granola...even though we don't eat it much in my home, because it just has too much sugar in it...and I have yet to find a contemporary any close than your blog!
I told my midwife about you wanting to "wait too long" so you could have an unassisted birth and we had a good laugh over it. I'm due any sec and I can't count how many of my sisters have asked me if I'm still planning to have it at home, to which I can only respond a forced-perky "Inshallah!"...and to my dearest sisters "Do I look like something on me has changed!?!"...Alhumdiallah, inshallah this will be my 3rd homebirth.
I to have told women to skip appointments for inductions and similar stuffs...I told my midwife I always feel like "The Reluctant Advocate"...for sooooooo many different aspects in this donya...homebirthing, bfing, homeschooling, know, alhumdiallah.
We live in a very small town and I feel constant intolerance, astagfirallah, most of it from my sisters since they are the majority of whom I interact with!
Before my husband fully embrased that we MUST homeschool, he was checking out schools while we were living overseas. I would go along to see them all with him. All horrible. In the end it came down to that I flat out refused to to be involved. I told DH, "If you want him to go, you will have to dress and feed him, get him ready, drop him off, pick him I will not do anything to aid in this." And I believe this falls under Obidience to Allah, before obidience to the DH, insha Allah.
Gotta go...alhumdiallah, you got lots of more posts for me read!
Asalamu Walaikum