Black Hair

I used to teach at an Islamic school, situated within a masjid, when I was around 17. There was a lot that didn’t sit well with me; the mosque had a barrier–I also taught students who were about 8 years old, and I believed it to be ludicrous that I was expected to cover my hair around 8-year-old boys. Or that any of the 8-year-old girls were expected to do the same. But I followed the “rules” in terms of my appearance, if only to appease the parents, who I imagine must already have been suspicious of what on earth I might be teaching their children.

One day, for a school-wide event, though I can’t remember what, the boys were pulled out of class. I bid the last one goodbye, closed the door behind him, whirled around and exclaimed, “The boys are gone!” and threw off my hijab. The black waves leapt to the air with the blow of the rising fabric and then fell to my waist. The young girls laughed and did the same, pulling off their headscarves.

Except one.

“Can I leave my hijab on?” she asked me.

I gave her a funny look. “Of course!” I walked back to the front of the room, ready to continue the lesson, but the girls were talking excitedly amongst themselves, clearly distracted, and I thought it was unfair to expect them to study as long as the boys weren’t also in a stuffy classroom learning to read Arabic with them. And to be honest, I had a desire to know these girls. So I walked among them and we spoke while they braided each other’s hair and talked about faeries.

“I love your hair,” said the small hijabi. She ran her fingers through it. “It’s so pretty.” Then she added, “I wish I had hair like this. My hair’s not like other people’s hair.”

The child was black. Something hurtful burst inside me.

“Is this why you didn’t want to remove your hijab?” I gasped.

She nodded. “My hair’s not pretty like yours.”

“Darling, your hair is beautiful!” What else could I have said? I spoke what I knew, to her, must have been empty words.

She made a face. “You haven’t even seen it.”

“I can imagine it.”

She looked worried. “It’s not like you imagine.”

“No, love, it’s not like you imagine.” I sighed and sat on top of a desk. Was it too early to speak to her about white privilege? I looked around at the other girls, none white, but none of them black. Neither was I. I tried to form words but I couldn’t, not over the force of my heart breaking. I wanted to hold her and sob, an act I was certain would alarm her.

“Sometimes, when you help the other girls fix their hijabs, I feel bad,” she said.

“Why?”

“Because you do their hair. And you’re so nice. And no one knows how to do my hair.”

“Your hijab is always on so perfectly, it never needs to be fixed,” I remarked. It was true. The other girls’ hijabs would constantly slide off; they would struggle with it for a few minutes before complaining loudly, at which point I walked over to their desks, did their hair, and neatly fixed their hijabs over it while still teaching off the lesson plan. But this girl’s hijab was always firmly planted wrapped around her head, as though it were a protective second skin. “But if it ever slid off, of course I would help you fix it.”

“Do you want to see my hair?” she asked.

“Do you want me to see it?”

She pulled back the hijab. Her hair was sectioned into five different parts at various heights and braided.

“You see?” I said. “It’s lovely.”

She looked less sorrowful, though I was uncertain whether it was my imagination. She seemed to warm up. I began to align the hijab along her forehead again, and she grinned and tampered with my hair. “You think it’s pretty?”

“Yes.”

Maybe the words weren’t empty to her yet. Maybe she hadn’t yet gotten to the point where white beauty standards were so forcefully bombarded on her person that wouldn’t believe her hair was pretty matter how many times she heard it, to the point where your hair is lovely was just something people said to be kind or even dismissive.

Obviously, I was unequipped to deal with this. I don’t know if I did well at all. There was so much I wanted to say–but I was afraid of overwhelming the situation. My point is that I should have been prepared, that I should have known what to do; that we, as Muslims, majority non-white, ought to know how to handle circumstances pertaining to the comfort of black students in our classrooms, to the struggles of races that are not our own.

And that is the purpose of a caring, giving, and supportive community. Not one that’s just preoccupied with going through the movements, preoccupied with merely discussing Islam with a reluctance to confront the anxieties that deter us from living it in its full compassionate capacity.

On whether the hijab is mandatory

I’ve been avoiding this post. I’ve successfully avoided writing it for four years. As most of you know I’m conscious of the context to which I contribute exegesis (or anything), and whether or not hijab is mandatory is a question that is irrelevant in a context where women are harassed for wearing the hijab—and for not wearing it. Because of this context I have, reluctantly, written more posts here about hijab than I ever cared to write, and all about men minding their own business.

There is one verse that is used by male scholars to “encourage” women to cover their hair. Humorously (or not) enough, this verse does not explicitly make this command; it reads, instead,

And say
to the believing women
that they should lower their gaze and guard
their modesty; that they should not
display their beauty and
ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof;
that they should draw their veils
over their bosoms
(Qur’an 24:31)

In case you’re wondering how “bosoms” is understood as “hair” when they are pretty clearly distinct body parts (insert joke about judicial male “expertise” knowing nothing about female anatomy here) let’s look at the word “veil.” The verse already hints that a veil existed; it doesn’t command, for example to veil as though the action is revolutionary or unpracticed, but to draw their veils, as though the women already owned fabric they understood could be used as a veil. And that’s exactly correct. The area where male scholarship is wrong, however, is in arguing that the veil was already used to cover the hair, and that 24:31 merely commands the inclusion of the bosom with the hair, thus advising that both the hair and bosom are covered.

But there are problems with this—mainly that the assumption that the sole purpose of the veil was exclusively to cover the hair in pre-Islamic Arabia is an incorrect one.

As Lee Ann explains,

“The cloth was more utilitarian in purpose than just as a piece of clothing. It served to protect against weather, to carry babies, to haul such things as wood. It was tied around the waist and used like a tool belt of sorts, to stick things in it, etc. The “hijab” [before the Revelation] was never exclusive to be used as a head covering because it would have to be removed from the head in order to use it for those other purposes. The ayat in the Quran is basically telling women to use that piece of cloth, that they already have and are using (to make it easier on them, no need to get a special “hijab” so to speak) and use it to cover your chest/breast.”

If the line of argument for scholars is that hijab is commanded in the Qur’an because the cloth to which the Qur’an refers in advising women to cover their bosoms is the same cloth women used to exclusively cover their hair (which is the male scholarly line of argument) then it is an inadequate one. And it’s inadequate for the simple reason that hair-covering was not the exclusive purpose of this fabric. Would it have made sense to interpret that women should cover their bosoms and with the same fabric we use to hold tools? If our logical standards are that all previous purposes of the cloth have now become mandatory with the inclusion of covering the bosom, then it does. Otherwise, there is no reason for scholars to focus solely on the cloth’s purpose to cover hair as an extension of the command to conceal the bosom.

The command to conceal the bosom was given because non-Muslim men would harass Muslim women due to prejudice (you know, all too familiar) while knowing full well these women were Muslim, but since all Arab women exposed their chests, when confronted the men claim that they did not recognize that the woman was Muslim and couldn’t tell, and therefore had not been harassing her for her religion. The verse was revealed to blast away this poor excuse. Muslim women were defined clearly from non-Muslim women, so that, in Lee Ann’s words “those men had no excuse other than they were assholes.”

This is why the verse cites the reason “so that they will not be harassed” in advising the hijab—it’s not meant to be interpreted as the responsibility to avoid harassment is placed on the woman: it’s meant to be interpreted so that the excuse given by men (“I did not recognize her as Muslim and therefore was not committing the 7-century version of a hate crime.”) is rendered illegitimate.

Removed from Societal Context: Verse 33:53, the Veil, and the role of Umar

Umar, the only corrupted caliph of the first four, publicized stoning as a punishment for adultery, a penal ordinance that does not appear in the Qur’an and was delivered by the Prophet in cases when the adulterer was non-Muslim, such as the case of a Jewish woman in Medina whose people had agreed to an Islamic government only if it were separated from Jewish law. The Prophet, in order to keep peace and maintain religious freedom by recognizing non-Muslim laws among the residents he governed, allowed Jewish citizens to maintain their own sub-courts. However, association of stoning with Islamic law was promulgated by Umar after the Prophet’s death.

Unsurprisingly, Umar was known to be cruel to his wives and to physically assault them. Attempting to confine women to their homes, Umar also sought to deter women from attending prayers at the mosques, and, though he failed to accomplish this, managed temporarily to assign not only separate groups but separate imams for men and women. Although the men were led by an imam of their own sex, the women, of course, were led not by a female imam but a male one. They were also prevented from being imams themselves, though while the Prophet was alive, a woman—Umm Waraqa—was appointed to lead both men and women in prayer. This separation arrangement was revoked by the succeeding caliph, Uthman.

Part of Umar’s agenda to confine women to separate quarters manifested in his prohibition for Muhammad’s wives to go on pilgrimage, from which they had not been forbidden while the Prophet was alive. He lifted the restriction the year before he died, but the (historically influential) damage of this and other laws was done. It was not the first time that Umar sought to regulate the behaviors of women by restricting their ability to travel or interact with the opposite sex; while Muhammad was alive, Umar insisted that the Prophet separate his wives from himself, as was the practice of wealthy leaders. Umar was initially unsuccessful with this, as Muhammad did not have his own separate room but shared different rooms with his wives on different nights. While it is true that Muhammad’s wives were harassed by hypocrites who would attempt to assault them, Umar’s proposed solution (that the wives make themselves unrecognizable as the Prophet’s wives by separating themselves from the Prophet) was different from God’s—which was the veil.

But unlike what is commonly understood as the function of the veil, the purpose of the hijab is to separate the intimacy between a wedded couple from the patriarchal intrusions of the outside world. When the Prophet married Zeynab bint Jahsh, a woman renowned for her incredible beauty, he was quietly frustrated by indiscreet male guests who overstayed their welcome, and—as the verse curiously notes that none of the Prophet’s wives are permissible to other men—may have been meddling for indecent reasons. The verse reads,

O you who have believed!
do not enter
the houses of the Prophet
except when you are permitted for a meal,
without awaiting its readiness.
But when you are invited,
then enter;
and when you have eaten, disperse without seeking
to remain for conversation.
Indeed, that [behavior] was troubling the Prophet,
and he is shy of [dismissing] you.
But God is not shy of
the truth.
And when you ask [his wives] for something,
ask them from behind a partition.
That is purer for your hearts and their hearts.
And it is not conceivable or lawful for you
to harm the Messenger of God
or to marry his wives after him
, ever.
Indeed, that would be in the sight of God an enormity.
(33:53)

It is clear from context then that the notion of whether the men were inappropriately interested in the new bride is not one that is out of question. This opens the verse to the possibility of an abstract interpretation: a veil over the heart, to ensure its purity.

Fawzia Afzal-Khan writes in “A Feminist Reclamation of Islam?” the following:

“The verse on the hijab descended at precisely the moment when the Prophet’s desire to consummate his marriage to the beautiful Zeynab was frustrated by the boorish behavior of his male guests who kept sitting in his living room long after the wedding banquet was over, and who the overly polite (“bordering on timid” as Mernissi describes him)—prophet of Islam, simply could not muster up enough courage to ask to leave. Finally, when they did depart, one male companion still hovered around, by the name of Anas Ibn Malik, and it is he who reported the event of the revelation of the verse about hijab as a witness.

Thus, according to Mernissi, the circumstances of this revelation point to an understanding of the notion of hijab as a tool to protect the intimacy of the wedded pair—their privacy—and to do so by excluding a third person, the man named Anas. He becomes a symbol, then, of a male dominant community that had become too invasive in the life and personal affairs of the prophet.”

This means that the hijab, in the most traditional sense, is meant to serve as a sanctuary against patriarchy; and not in the wear-this-and-you-will-be-protected-from-the-male-gaze kind of way accorded by mainstream, contemporary interpretations of Islam. Rather, it is meant to preserve the private expression and pursuit of Divine Love within a marriage from the overbearing reach of patriarchal exhibitionism.

Originally intended to keep out overbearing men, like Umar who attempt to tell other men how to behave toward their wives and seek to seclude them, from the privacy of quiet, marital understanding, the veil, over the centuries, has been misconstrued as a symbol of the exclusive rights of a husband to the beauty of his wife. In reality, the husband is included behind the veil, encompassed in a shield of love, and protected from the bellicose forces of masculine performance and societal expectations. Umar, patriarchy embodied, had attempted numerous times to impose the patriarchal practices of pre-Islamic societies and of the surrounding cultures onto Muhammad—an infamous preoccupation of the patriarchal male.

The hijab-literally ‘curtain’—‘descended,’ not to put a barrier between A man and a woman, but between two men.

(Mernissi 85)

A woman’s beauty, of course, belongs to no one, and can be policed by no one. Umar had tried—for the rest of time Umars will continue, in vain, to try.

Sweater. (and modesty)

When I was very little, I attended Quranic classes at the mosque with other small children. On one occasion, I stood lined up for prayer while the instructor lectured on prayer etiquette. It was midsummer in California. The heat was almost unbearable. My hair was uncovered, but I was wearing a sweater, and I felt dizzy. I knew what I needed to do: remove the sweater. But I couldn’t, because I recognized that when I lifted it over my head, it would pull the shirt I wore beneath it up along with it part way, which is what sometimes happens with six-year-old children. And I couldn’t have everyone see that. And I was too shy to ask to leave the prayer area; if I asked to leave for the restroom now (where no one would see me), I thought, the instructor would admonish me for poor planning. So, standing there in the boiling festering heat gathering beneath the sweater until I saw blue and purple, refusing to remove it, what did I do?

I passed out.

The last thing I remembered as I was falling to my knees is the otherwise austere instructor looking at my face with the softest, most concerned expression I had ever seen on his. “Nahida? Nahida? What is happening?! Nahida!” And then everything went dark.

I woke up with my head on a pillow, still in the prayer area. The other children were gone. Someone had removed the sweater. My mother was beside me. I sat up and began to cry.

She was having none of that. “Nahida, what on earth? Stop it. Now tell me what happened.”

“I was hot.”

“Okay. Well why didn’t you take off the sweater?”

I knew why I hadn’t; I could not, however, find the words to explain it to her.

She frowned. “Nahida, you are not that young of a child. You can take off your own sweater.”

Well of course I had had the ability! My eyes welled up again. I was in a foul mood. “I want to go home.”

“She was burning up,” explained my instructor. “After she fainted. It was like she had a fever of over a hundred. It was raging.”

***

It is summer in California again. The heat has returned.

“Hell is hotter,” lectures the man without hi’jab.

***

I am not a modest woman.

At least, not in what is accepted as the traditional sense. Whether or not what is broadly conventional is really “traditional” is highly suspect, as the Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World states, “The term hijab or veil is not used in the Qur’an to refer to an article of clothing for women or men, rather it refers to a spatial curtain that divides or provides privacy. The Qur’an instructs the male believers (Muslims) to talk to wives of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) behind a hijab. This hijab was the responsibility of the men and not the wives of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W). However, in later Muslim societies this instruction, specific to the wives of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W), was generalized, leading to the segregation of the Muslim men and women.” But in every sense of the word that is widely accepted by the contemporary Islamic community, I am not a modest woman. While I do prefer longer sleeves and habitually wear flowing skirts, and even considering what I cover merely in terms of surface area being more conservative than the average woman in my society, what I wear is nearly always form-fitting. And to boot, I look men straight in the eye.

Tell the believing men
that they shall subdue their gaze
(and not stare at the women),
to maintain their chastity.
This is purer for them.
God is fully Cognizant
of everything they do.
And tell the believing women
to subdue their gaze, and to be mindful
of their chastity, and not to show off
parts of their adornment [in public] beyond
what may [decently] be apparent
or obvious thereof;
hence, let them draw their covers
over their bosoms. (Qur’an 24:30—31)

I look everyone straight in the eye. Granted, I don’t interpret “subdue their gaze” as meaning “don’t make eye contact” and I think it’s ridiculous that it has been interpreted as such. Understandable—even admirable (when it isn’t enforced solely on women while men look directly and steadily on contrary to the very first part of the verse, that is)—but ridiculous. I’ve been told, as other women have also reported in the comment section they’ve been told, that my gaze is too intense as to be suggestive. This does not happen only when I am intently paying attention. It happens even when I’m merely daydreaming. And when used to police women’s bodies and behaviors, this is an alarming, thoroughly disturbing indication that anything can and will be exploited to justify severe, intolerable restrictions of women’s freedoms. As xcwn writes, these regulations “reinforced the idea that men’s gaze at women (provided that it had the veneer of religiosity) was in fact God’s gaze. That the men ranting on about women’s supposed immodesty were somehow reflecting how God saw us. They claimed as much.” And it is yet another example of patriarchy existing in direct conflict with God, attempting to displace God with its own power structure which it claims is a replicate of Divine Ordinance. From a historical perspective, and the perspective of the Qur’an itself, nothing has been a greater enemy to Islam than patriarchy. Patriarchy is organized shirk. It is the very infusion of redefining terms of liberation and empowerment into viciously twisted devices of imprisonment to male interpretation of womanhood and circumscribing a structure of worship in place of the one directed by God.

Those who harass believing
men and believing women
without their having done wrong,
bear (on themselves) a calumny
and a grievous sin.
O Prophet! Enjoin your wives,
your daughters, as well as other
believing women that they should
cast their outer garments
over their persons (when abroad):
That is most convenient,
that they may be distinguished
and not be annoyed. […] (Qur’an 33:58–59)

In many translations “annoyed” is translated as “harassed” (also correct in a particular understanding) prompting the modern interpreter to conclude that women are Islamically held responsible for thwarting harassment, disregarding both the context in which the lines themselves are embedded and in which the verses were revealed; the very first lines blame the harassers, not the harassed, and the purpose of this revelation was to visually distinguish the Prophet’s wives so that others acted appropriately toward them: as the perpetual hostesses to an unremitting routine of visitors seeking the Prophet’s advice, they were continuously given little privacy or rest.

My immodesty is not related to passing out at the age of six, though the incident was a demonstration of how harmful slut-shaming, body-policing attitudes toward women are, to the point at which even young children would choose to faint rather than endure it. I know for a fact I would have preferred form-fitted clothing if the event had never transpired. I like slitted skirts because I think they are attractive. And I wear them. I even wear them to look attractive, to smile when I pass by a mirror. I love them because I love beauty, and because it was once Islamic to love beauty, as Seyyed Hossein Nasr notes in Traditional Islam in the Modern World (via Afshan), “Traditional Islamic civilization is marked by its emphasize [sic] upon beauty being wedded to every aspect of human life, from the chanting of the Quran to the making of pots and pans. The traditional Islamic ambience, both the plastic and the sonoral, have always been beautiful, for traditional Islam sees beauty as a complement of the Truth.”

A’isha bint Talha defiantly proclaimed, “God the Almighty distinguished me by my beauty, and not to keep me hidden from sight! I want everyone to see this, and acknowledge my superiority over them. I will not veil. No one can force me to do anything.”

I love hair flowers and hi’jab pins and the “camel hump” and other decorative ornaments that make hi’jab “immodest” and “invalidate” the purpose. And if it distracts, you dear brother—

You will lower your fucking gaze.

I hope you are all enjoying the summer. I’ve seized the opportunity to wear decorative hats with blasphemously large white flowers

and begin to feel leisurely at the heat, lashes lowered sleepily and all.

I can still subdue my gaze in them, as purpose of a sun hat is to shield one’s eyes. No one can complain the look in my eyes is too intensive.

;) Happy summer.

"Why don’t you wear hijab?"

For the purpose of this post hijab will refer to the headscarf.

I didn’t think I’d ever write an entry about this, because I’m quite nonchalant on the matter of hijab and myself (and because I am thoroughly fatigued with the subject of hijab altogether.) But whattheheck, let’s get it out there. I highly suspect that there is an assumption that I don’t wear hijab for the same reason that I wear nail polish on my period: to make some sort of statement about my femininity–menstruation, in the case of nail polish. It isn’t true, exactly. I do get a kick out of pulling off my hijab as soon as I walk out of the prayer area and feeling my hair, unfolded by the brushing of the fabric, tumble down my waist from the bun in which it was previously wrapped–but the amusing glances of disapproval are just sort of something that comes along. I find the looks kind of hilarious, but they’re not the purpose. I take off the hijab as soon as I step out of the prayer area simply because I don’t wear it except when I pray five times a day. For me not wearing hijab in general is not a sign of rebellion, or a proclamation of my womanliness, or an act of reclamation–

There is no reason I don’t wear hijab.

There you go. I wish I could give you some complex, introspective explanation, but it is really that simple. There are things I do that are symbolic, that come with the intention of announcing a cause, and things I do that aren’t. I’ve mentioned wearing red lipstick in the mosque and the reaction I receive from it, because the reaction is there, not because I’m looking for it, and because the reaction is absurd. I wear red lipstick because I like wearing it, and I write about the reaction because it’s ridiculous and wrong–and yes, really funny. However, I wear nail polish as I menstruate because menstruating women are viewed as filthy, and wearing nail polish to announce my child-bearing capacity is an act of prideful reclamation.

Because I am a rather impulsive person, there will most likely come a day when I will wear hijab. But whatever change takes place inside of me, whatever prompts me to throw on that scarf, will be related to neither the expectations of others nor a difference in the quality of my faith. My faith is strong now, and inshaAllah it will remain strong then. It may be a difference in how I choose to express my faith, or maybe I just suddenly feel like wearing it and would just as suddenly stop. Maybe just that day, I needed an extra dosage of modesty, because I could feel myself becoming vain. This is something, I believe, that fluctuates. Maybe I’m wearing it and then months later I’m at the beach in a sundress or a one-piece bathing suit. You know what that probably means? That the bathing suit was convenient, and for whatever reason (financial, distance, pain to change out of, told myself I wasn’t going to swim and couldn’t resist the water so borrowed a friend’s, etc.) I couldn’t or didn’t get my hands on an Islamic one, and I don’t believe that’s a reason to keep myself from God’s ocean. Not necessarily that I’m taking a religious or political stance.

Hijab means something to me–in relation to my spiritual self, to modesty, and to God. If I get to a point where I take it on and then off a few months later it is reflective of the real relationship I am having with my faith, but it is only for me to evaluate. I will be the only one who knows what this means. Unfortunately, the world doesn’t understand this, and I don’t live in a vacuum, and the last thing I ever want to imply is that my sisters who consistently wear hijab and are harassed for it, or those who don’t and are harassed for it, have an easy decision on their hands. It’s not easy for anyone, and it’s not easy for me, no matter how many times others conclude it must be–“Why don’t you just take it off / put it on?” as though the responsibility lies with the one wearing it and not the actions of the offender, and as though there isn’t real value and connection in this practice. Because I am a woman and therefore all my actions are representative of my sex and my faith, I am mindful (I hope) to not carelessly belittle the struggles of my sisters with something with as much stigma as the hijab. For this, I don’t treat it in any way that can be inferred as meaningless–it’s either consistently worn or consistently not, with the exception of prayer of course. But that is in being respectful of my sisters, in consideration and in solidarity, and not out of avoiding the judgment of those who unlawfully police me.

By whatever definition we have now, I’m feminine on the gender spectrum. Sometimes I’m lazily feminine: I’ll roll out of bed and the only makeup I feel like slapping on is some concealer. But I set my own limits on how much I want people to see, and on how much I can express before I feel that I am crossing a line on modesty according to my faith. These limits have nothing to do with the concerns of other people, and everything to do with my own comfort zone and personal religious interpretation. In the context of my community, my femininity just happens to be rebellious. And sometimes–often–as in the example of nail polish, I have a very driven purpose of defying patriarchy, which I will enthusiastically pursue. But unless I blatantly declare a purpose, I am just living my life and making fun of the reactions of my community.

Your projections and judgments on what I wear are invalid, because it’s my body and I say so. And like your body does not represent your sex or your faith or anything unless you have that precise intention and make it known, neither does mine.

I cannot, and do not wish to, control the assumptions of others; what I care about is when these assumptions (“She is doing it because she is immodest! She is doing it because she is difficult! She is doing it for us! She is being disingenuous!”) are carried out in actions that infringe on my rights (“Let’s tell her where to pray and what to wear!”) that there is a real problem. I don’t wear red lipstick to be difficult. I do, however, wear nail polish to be difficult. (Actually, I wear it because I have a real message, but that won’t matter.) But guess what? I am practicing a right, and by telling me I shouldn’t and creating an environment in which you attempt to pressure me to not, you are infringing on one.

I am a whole person, and sometimes I am just living life or doing what I must to get through. I am not your representation of anything–I’m not your expectations or projections.

To assume that a woman is doing something must be related to a particular reason that is projected onto her without her input or despite her claims is very similar to the mentality that reduces and dehumanizes her into a billboard, into an object to the audience for whom she is supposedly “advertising.”

P.S. I am on my period right now and broke the fast today on the occasion. I will not be posting pictures of nail polish this month, because I feel tired and don’t have the patience to wait for it to dry. In spirit, feel free to view previous.

Islam, headscarves… and men (who need to see their way out)

A message to Muslim men:

Shut the fuck up.

That is the shortest entry you will ever see here on Islamic studies. This is because there is nothing to study or analyze. There is absolutely no question that my body is none of your business.

And I will not apologize for my tone. See the title of this entry? You should not be in it. If my hair distracts you so much, you are free to not look at it. As a matter of fact, the Qu’ran advises you not to look at it. You have an obligation to lower your eyes. Maybe if you read it more often instead of policing me, you would know this. I will not apologize for that either.

In case this message isn’t clear enough, I drew a pretty little Venn diagram for you:

According to my complex scientific calculations, the two do not intersect.

Seriously, from now on I’m just going to assume that any guy attempting to interrogate me about my hair is secretly madly in love with me.