Thursday, 4 April 2013

Does My Head Look Weird in This?

I had a conversation with a friend yesterday, a great one, and we ended up discussing -almost debating- about a rather sensitive topic: religion. We're okay though, we managed to get out of room without any injuries. Besides, we see positive and ironically funny sides of everything -so we respect and we laugh at a lot of things. Including ourselves.

As a girl 'who is wearing a scarf covering her hair and you never see her shoulder or knees', I believe this topic, this question has been asked many times. I've got to admit, if I know nothing about Islam and Hijab I'll be part of those curious people. That's why I want to answer this, try to explain it in a more personal approach. As a girl, as a woman, as a human being. Here, you will not find, "Because my Holy Book said so, in QS something Ayat something."

I've been taught to wear hijab, been seeing people wearing it around me, since I was 6. Yup, six. And I start wearing it daily from 7.00-16.00 because it's part of school uniform ever since. I honestly never felt restricted (I will take it off after school anyway) I didn't feel hot either no matter how crazy the weather is in Indonesia (seriously? it's just a loose piece of fabric, we barely even feel the difference). we study, and play, and fight, as normal kids. No matter what we wear.

And I grew up, I still am, naturally as a quite liberal person. I am open to new things, I love talking to strangers and bizarre knowledge and skills. And I ask 'why?' a lot. 'Women are only obliged to cover her aurats (parts of her body except face and hands) when they first got their period.' I was still in islamic school and hijab is, of course, still part of my uniform. I still let go of my hair once in awhile, wearing short sleeves, feeling the sea water up to my knees. I was 13 and began thinking. and seeking.

I went to USA for a holiday trip, and for the first time got the stares. The questions. And the demands of explanation. That's when out of nowhere, I spilled out an answer

"I think I just like the idea of how pure the love of the woman who wears hijab is," I can see that guy raising his eyebrow, I immediately added, "We want to show our body parts, our hair, only to someone that will be the first and hopefully the last." He looked amused with the word 'love' that I used, "So you're saying it's like the extreme version of keeping your virginity?" "You may say so," I giggled, "I bet now you want to ask 'what if the guy you're marrying isn't even a virgin then?'" "Exactly," he leaned towards me, "What if?" "Everyone has past, I have past -well I'm still a kid according to you so mine doesn't matter, but it's about my life and how I live it. It's about the present. Besides, in Islam the girls are able to choose who she's marrying." He was surprised. Shocked, to be more accurate, "They can? I think the parents will choose it for them. And if the girl said no to anything, they will beat them." I smiled, "I believe there are many kinds of parents, many kind of men. Despise their religions. No sane religion will encourage their men to torture women. As far as I know my brain is still here, and as far as I know, I'm still a muslim." He wasn't giving up, "So, last question, will your father beat you up if you don't wear it?" He finally asked. Our bus is slowly stopping. "I doubt it, but he will be really disappointed. As much as I'm disappointed in myself."

And then, I moved to Singapore to continue my study -alone. And to the UK not too long after that. I'm the only child, and I don't have any family member or relative there. I have friends, but the point is: there is no adult. If I was really just wearing my hijab because of my parents, I don't have that obligation anymore. They will never know. I can just block them of seeing my pictures on facebook or whatever and I'm good to go. And I'm free. Right?

For some reasons.. I don't think so. It doesn't feel right. It's been part of me and I'm comfortable. I'm feeling protected and completed. And if this reason matter, I want to prove it that I can still wear hijab and be parts of lots of stuffs. That it doesn't restrict me. That it doesn't prevent me of having fun. I was the only girl wearing hijab in my batch -making it impossible to skip classes because lecturers remember me, dammit- and well, why blending in if you can stand out?

So last night, I look at him in the eye, and said,

"If a moslem woman, a hijaber, truly knows what she's doing and why she is doing that, I'd like to say that we treat our body like.. Money. Alright? Something we all can relate to. We know money is valuable to us. We know how valuable money is. And as much as we love and proud of our money, will we actually scatter it on the floor or table for everyone to see? Or make it into a beautiful rose and wear it as broche? However, if we decide to put it in a sealed bag, to protect it, does it mean we perceive everybody as a potential thief? No, but we do not want them to be teased and doing things they weren't planning to do. That, for your, "But not all men are pervs!"

People have this cute habit worrying other people's business -just like they don't have their own problem to solve. Gay marriage is none of my business, by the way, I don't want to interfere with somebody else's happiness. It applies the same way in this case, I have nothing to say for women in bikinis except: if a woman is free to show her body, why isn't she free to cover it?


Dzikri Sabillah Anwar said...

well written :)

Nonni Shetya said...

wow !!! i love this !! xoxo

dhilooo said...

great! so proud being a moslem woman who wear hijab...
u've just taught me a lot, n made me think twice or so to publish my uncovered photos to the other guys :*

Ratri Purwani said...

your post made me even more proud to be a hijabi--and insya Allah--a better muslimah :D

Annesya said...

jadi inget ada buku yg judulnya sama dengan judul postinganmu. eh gamau bikin buku tntg pengalamanmu berhijab di luar negeri?

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