Friday, April 20, 2007

Fear of Commitment

Day 2. I went to bed last night feeling a bit of dread when I thought about the headscarf. I thought about those bad days I get a lot when I just want to withdraw and retreat from everyone and the fact that I wouldn't really be able to do that when wearing the scarf in public. I mean, it draws attention usually. Real or imagined stares, to me it's the same at this point.

It's not really understandable to other Muslims for someone to seem to COMMIT to hijab but then some days not wear the headscarf. Unlike most other practices of Islam, wearing a headscarf is a very public practice of Islam. For example, I usually am too lazy to wake up in time to perform the morning prayer. I ask for God's forgiveness and promise myself to try better once my babies sleep through the night. A lot of Muslims, including my dear hubby, would say that sleep deprivation is not a good enough reason to miss the dawn prayer. But when they actually tell me that to my face with whatever intentions they have, my rebellious spirit rebels even more. But at least when it comes to prayer, it's just between me and my household...not the public.

So that's another reason I feared wearing the headscarf. I mean, I didn't want to be committed to doing it the exact right way every single day for the rest of my life. But the thing about the scarf is, once you start wearing it and people (especially the Muslims) around you expect you to wear it, it'd difficult to just have a bad day and decide not to wear it. Why is that? Because then they will think 'she's lost her belief in it. she doesn't "do hijab" anymore'. That pressure of the headscarf practice really scares me.

But I know that some muslims sincerely feel it is their duty to remind me of my ignorance in efforts to get me back on the "right path." But I think they should lead by example, and let me evolve at my own pace. I believe that I am not ignorant of what is expected or required of me, so their comments turn into a form of criticism, nagging, and/or judgements.

But it's ok. If there's any chance that God is pleased to have women cover up, I'll do it. And if it'll keep my dear husband off my back, I'll do it. Just kidding. But honestly, if he will respect me for it, then that's another reason I'll do it. And if I want my daughters to "be" Muslim, which I do, then wearing it will make more sense to them. Explaining the reasons why I wear it is more admirable than explaining why I don't. So that's another reason I'll do it.

But maybe I'll just do it the modern Pakistani way for awhile, which is usually loosely wrapping a long scarf around the head, without pinning it under the chin so that it doesn't sometimes slip off to expose hair or neck or ears. Hmm...but then if I do it really hijab? I know the answer that others will have, but what's my answer? I don't know yet.

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