Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Veiled Eyes

Oh my.

I am getting DAILY phone calls from Saudi now.

Yes, this is REAL.

Did you know that in Spanish "Real" means "Royal"?

Not sure how that info helps this moment, other than it turns it all into something fit for a queen.

Can I keep remembering that I'll be in the land of the Prophet Mohammed pbuh?

'Cause I knew I had to wear an all black abaya and cover my face in public.

I knew that.



Once again, boys and girls (are there any males reading this? I never imagine them sticking around...kind of like my love life):

I am in the most conservative religion...

going to the most conservative country...

and within that country, going to the most conservative district.


My mom said, "Covering your eyes is so extreme."

And it is and I KNOW THAT but I say, "Yes, but so is walking around with boobs hanging out. Islam is all about being moderate. I don't agree with either way of dressing but I'm willing to try on the Saudi dress for the time I'm there."

I said that.

I hope I mean that.


Anonymous said...

If you are making Hijrah for the sake of Allah SWT only, and will be covering your eyes as a way to please Allah SWT, knowing that it's required in the place you are going in the first place to please Allah SWT, then may Allah SWT reward you for it. But if you are going not for Allah SWT but for other reasons, then pray to Allah SWT to make this easy on you, make your heart pure, and to guide you to do what is best whatever that may be... and to guide you to make everything you do for the sake of Allah SWT. When you move to any country, you need to follow their rules, so you need to determine if this is the place you really want to be and if you are ok following their rules. If not, then I suggest staying in the U.S. or searching for another country to make Hijrah for Allah SWT.

Anonymous said...

I see pictures all the time of Saudi women with eyes uncovered.

egyptchick7 said...

Ick...another reason I would NEVER pick Saudi. I don't know how in the land og the Prophet (pbuh) you have to veil your eyes when all you have to do at Mecca is wear white hijab? Makes zero sense. Be careful whatever you do. As I am sure you know, I am scared of Saudi.

Anonymous said...

By the way, who are your daily phonecalls from Saudi from? Just curious :)

L_Oman said...

I'm sure you won't be out and about for very long periods, but just in case, try to get a niqab that really breathes and mesh that you can see through.

I once tried the niqab a few times here when I went to the souq and I literally was seeing stars about 15 minutes into it. Breathing your own hot air isn't fun and the sweltering heat. OY! The first time I wore it, I thought it was so mysterious. The second time wasn't so fun.

I don't wear niqab, I do wear abaya / lehaf but I'm struggling with it lately, so...

Yosra said...

Asalamalaykom Anonymous,

Welcome to my blog. One request is for all the Anons to create unique names for themselves so I know who you are. This distinguishes you from the others and makes my responses easier to write.

Why am I inshahallah going to Saudi?

I need to make a life for my son. I do not currently receive child support regularly. There is no one really supporting us in any way here.

I've always wanted to live/work overseas teaching English. As a Muslim, it is obvious that going to Saudi gets you that much closer to making Hajj.

This particular job pays for our airfare, our apartment, and Mr. Boo's childcare. Without even talking about the comparative salaries, I save $800 (rent) and $400 (childcare) for a total of $1200 each month. Now, for salary, that's tax-free.

Mr. Boo could learn fluent Arabic and I could improve mine.

I'd get away from the foibles of Western society.

Am I doing it all for Allah? Good question.

I do know that I'm not looking for a man there. To answer one of you Anons: The head of the school called me yesterday and the head teacher (yes, the one who started down the betrothal path) called me today.

Asalamlaykom EgyptChick,

I know what you mean. Why are Muslmahs permitted to be without niqab at the Kabba? If covering is necessary, then why not there? I hear ya. I won't say, "ick," as I've worn all kinds of get-ups through the years. I can respect others wanting to wear it. However, I don't want to. I will, if I have to, but this is rubbing me the wrong way right now. Not happy with it...nope...not really.

Asalamalaykom Yet Another Anonymous,

Hey! There's a good name for you! Thanks for coming by.

You are absolutely right about seeing Saudi women not covering their eyes. It's a regional thing. Where I am headed---and only God knows if I can actually get there---it is expected. I could actually get picked up by the police for NOT wearing the eye covering.

In the classroom, with all women, I will be uncovered.

Yosra said...

Asalamalaykom l_oman,

Nice to "see" your comment at midnight.

Man! I just don't know, sweets. This deal is just FR-EAK-ING me out. It's like how I felt being approached about polygamy.

I would say "yes" to this awful condition and pray to God to feel OK with the situation and make ammends. Then, as soon as I felt at peace, there'd be another awful condition.

I have had dear friends wearing niqab. They have sweat heavily, sworn frequently, and gotten overheated constantly. This was going to be enough of a challenge but to learn about the eyes?! OH MY GOD!

See? I'm a person. I really am a real, live person who agrees with dressing modestly, but will not be totally erasing myself from the face of the earth so a man doesn't feel excited? I'm just not buying this right now. I am feeling pushed too far.

I might not be able to do this.

"OY!" is right!

John Mullis said...

Asalamalaykom Yosra

Delighted to find you back on line.

We lost contact last Ramadan [when you went off the air] and I've missed your wisdom and e=friendship (is there such a word?)

Sharing that experience with you all last year was a spiritual highlight for me.

My Viage Interior.

Thank you so much. I look forward to reading up on your blog to see what you have been up to - the mind boggles!!!

Allah Hafiz dear friend

Yosra said...

Asalamalaykom Br. John,

What can I say?

You are welcome here BUT as my brother in faith, not as a friend. No friendships between men and women in Islam.

I'm not sure what you have done with you faith since Ramadan. You're a bit cryptic with your blogging.

I'm a bit too open.

There's probably a happy medium somewhere.

Give my salams to your lovely wife.

Muslim Wife said...

Asalaamu Alaikum Ya Ukhti!

Ok, I'm your total, typical blurker, but I'm coming out of the dark closet for this one (see, I'm even using my blog name!).

You're a very intelligent sister, masha'allah. People can argue with some life choices you've made, but I think we can agree you're smart and can admit your mistakes and faults, no matter how many times you make them, masha'allah (a quality we all should have). So then why is this niqaab thing weighing so heavily on you? Your reasons for wanting to go to Saudi sound like hijrah fee sabeelAllah to me, so then it would only make sense Shaitan is gonna mess with you as much as possible, and in what better way than with the niqaab?

Yes, it's a different thing. Yes, it can take some time getting used to. But what new thing doesn't? Remember the idea of dressing modestly? Gasp! Covering your hair? Gasp! But masha'allah, look how it's become second nature to you, and in time, the niqaab will too.

As far as the specific detail of covering the eyes, its just one more way to ensure you're covered in the best way . As a teacher, you'll be setting an example, you'll be a role model, so it only makes sense you do things in the best way you can, for the sake of your students and those who will be looking to you as a guide.

At the haramain, the female security guards are covered in layers, including eyes, hands, and feet. They hold a position, they have authority, as you will too, insha'allah.

And lastly, remember there are 2 opinions in Islam about the niqaab (according to Ahlul Sunnah wal Jam'ah), 1) it's obligatory and 2) it's realllllly good and you should, but its not a sin if you dont. Both are correct opinions. So insha'allah, look at this opportunity as a chance to engage in a form of worship that in most other places in the world you would have a very hard time doing. I'm a born and raised in the US of A niqaabi, and it can be hard and frustrating at times here, but subhanAllah, you'll be in a land where it's not only common, but enforced! I, for one, envy your position and pray that it'll be a chance for you gain the pleasure of your Lord and raise your statues on the yawm ul Qiyaamah.

love you, sis!

Wasalaamu alaikum

Yosra said...

Asalamalaykom Muslim Wife,

May Allah reward you. You are such a great thinker and writer than it is a disservice to the rest of us if you stay quiet on issues which you feel strongly about.

Thank you for speaking up.

You prove that there is a WHOLE LOT of brain power under hejabs and behind niqabs.

I hear you.

I do think that there is a wide spectrum of modesty which is allowable. For as many different women in Islam, there are as many different styles of acceptable dress.

For me? I have been exploring who I am in Islam for some time, as well you know. Yes, I have made many mistakes along the way and learned not enough lessons.

What am I thinking about who I am now? Who could I be?

It's tough for me in this space --both mentally and physcially---to know the utmost of my being. I am scared to loose myself. I didn't feel that with hejab (even though I ended up losing my job and my co-worker friends). I don't feel that with niqab. However, I do feel that with the veiling of the eyes.

There are many allowable things that I cannot handle. I know that cow tongue is halal meat. I cannot stomach it. I know polygamy is allowable in Islam, yet after my bad experience I cannot give myself over to it again. While I know that women can wear eye veils and gloves, I simply cannot anything but erased as a unique human being.

This does not mean that I look down on any sister who covers more than I do. I love all my sisters.

I love you for sharing.