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Hijab 101 - Page 3

post #41 of 96
I have completely enjoyed this thread and have learned so much. I have so much respect and awe for the Muslim mamas...I, too am sitting here wishing I could be veiled...I feel it does make a woman seem treasured and protected....have to add a little humor tho...the women wore the bells around their ankles and would jingle them to get attention?....I am a of sorts and have always worn these bells...I never knew why, I assumed because when I danced they jingled in rhythm..I never looked at it as a way to get attention from men...but now that I am thinking about it I can see this point..they are not the quietest adornment around. Thank you for this thought provoking thread..Peace
post #42 of 96
Originally posted by LisainCalifornia
I have a question...how does a woman eat out at a restaurant with a full veil on--like the one Cynthia is wearing in her picture?
Logical question.

Here in Arabia there are family sections in restaurants that have privacy partitions and in some cases individual rooms so that women can eat without their veils.

In other places I try to get seated at a table that will allow me to sit so that my face is not exposed. Otherwise I simply hold my veil out a bit and eat as usual. Of course two handed eating of any type (and I can't think of an example) would be pretty difficult so I'd avoid ordering something that would cause a difficulty for me.

Irishmommy, my understanding of the verse "there is no compulsion in religion" is that you can not and should not force belief on someone. However, that is set apart from the rules and guidelines that Islamic society is based upon. Rules of modesty (and other things that govern behavior in public) are to be adhered to even if you don't believe in the religion itself. Not all Muslim countries require the same as they each make their own policies and laws, some doing so based on the Quran and Sunnah and others not.
post #43 of 96
Daryl I don't agree with some of her reasoning in the article and I dare say many Muslims would be offended by her impersonation. But some of her other observations were worth sharing. There have been several such articles, one by a young woman in the US who wanted to see what it was like so she wore hijab for a day. She felt it liberating as well and her article was much nicer but I couldn't find it.

Yes, arranged marriage is quite often the case. But they do see each other before anything is agreed to and the decision is left to them.Well, some may not but that is against Islamic teachings as there are direct specifications in that they should see each other. And yes, they can speak to one another but it would be in the presence of her family. Once a marital contract is completed they can meet, go out, be alone, etc. Many couples use that time - after the contract but before the wedding party and consumation of the marrriage - to get to know each other and make sure of their commitment to the marriage.
post #44 of 96
I was wondering, are Muslim women less self conscious of their bodies and appearance then North American women? All of the women I know are always so unhappy with something, be it kilos they feel need to be lost, a pimple on their chin, a 'bad' hair day. they are trying to live up to the unrealistic expectations of magazine pictures and movie stars. I guess I am asking if Muslim women are as critical and hard on themselves... but I am not doing very well in expressing myself. :

Thank you so much for this thread, mahdokht
post #45 of 96
Now for the mother in me questions.

I'm curious how you breastfeed in your garments. Do they make nursing garments? I know that some Indian garments are fashioned for breastfeeding and that they use their scarf to conceal. Are your garments similar?

If baby is hungry while your at the grocery, can you just attach and go under your clothing? Or do you have to find a place more private. What does your faith tell you about breastfeeding.

Cynthia has already mentioned that it's illegal to have a home birth. However, what does your faith tell you of birth? Is the father able to be present and a part of the birth?

What about the familly bed? What are Muslim sleeping arrangements?

Any more AP tidbits you can pass along? I'm really curious about normal family life in a Muslim household.
post #46 of 96
M. - Thank you for your honest reply, and your patience.
post #47 of 96
Sorry this is a bit T
Originally posted by AdinaL
Thanks Madokht! Some of those ways to wear hijab look like some of the ways Jewish women wear theirs, shown here

I just wanted to note that the pics here of Jewish headcovering would also be seen as "imperfect" by many Jews. I don't know that there are many Jewish women who cover the neck (except perhaps in Muslim countries?), but many Jews feel that no hair should be able to be seen. Not even a bit at the front, or at the neck... Different Jews follow different customs, tho...
post #48 of 96
Agreed Binah! I just figured that those were catalog pictures. But they illustrate the style well.
post #49 of 96
Within the hijab, Muslim women know their power and their value. One Muslim man told me: "My wife is like a beautiful diamond. Would you leave a precious diamond to get scratched or stolen in the street? No, you would wrap it in velvet. And that is how the hijab protects my wife, who is more precious to me than any jewel."
WOW!! Cynthia!!! I **LOVE** this!! Sounds GREAT!!! Lovely example!
post #50 of 96
One more q and I have to go to work (amy breathes sigh of relief). How do you court and date and all that if the woman's face is unknown until, I assume, the disrobing in the marriage chamber? I am guessing arranged marriages? (Altho CM's Muslim dh met her, an uncovered at the time non-Muslim US woman? at university. I am guessing their courtship was more like our US way of dating and all that. Perhaps "necking" before marriage is forbidden?) And since men and women do not mingle freely, is the opportunity for fiancees to even speak pre-marriage limited? It would seem the women has the man at the advantage. At least she gets to see his face and its expressions before the wedding night.
I'd like to cut in on this one - I come from an Indian family and have an equal number of cousins who were arranged and non-arranged in marriage. Arranged marriages are not that uncommon in many non-western cultures. And yes, in very strict Hindu marriages they may not meet until the actual marriage day _(although that is becoming very uncommon esp. among the educated ).

Hindu women also cover their heads - and Indian muslim women sometimes go uncovered.
post #51 of 96
double post
post #52 of 96
I'd like to cut in here with a little birthing info.

I've attended a couple of births of Muslim women. Two that come to mind were women who were born in a Islamic country, but were here in our town while their husbands attend the university here for graduate work. One woman spoke perfect English (her mother was actually British) and the other spoke VERY limited English. Both were Saudis. BOth were first time mamas.

I think birthing modesty depends upon individual feelings. Both the fathers wanted to be there at the birth, but one of the mamas didn't want the father to be there when the baby actually emerged. She was the more conservative mama--completely veiled, only eyes visible. She was also the mama who spoke broken English. H. was very modest, even with us, all through her pregnancy. When she labored, her aunt came and was with her, along with H's husband. Once she began pushing, H asked everyone to leave, even her aunt. Only me (the nurse) and the mw were in the room.

Suddenly she threw off the sheet that had been covering, hiked up her gown, and really got down to it. Then, when the baby was crowning, she asked for her dh to come back in, but first she wanted to be covered. So she laid back down on the bed (she had been on her hands and knees), and I covered her up to her neck, and covered the mw as well, only leaving the vaginal opening exposed.

It sounds crazy, but it was like the mw was working under a tent of sorts, with just a tiny opening where you could see the baby emerge. Then dh came in, she pushed the baby out, and then she wanted dh to leave again. So he left while we put ds on mama's chest (obviously we threw off the sheets) and ds and mama bonded for a second or two. Then, when the cord stopped pulsating, mama wanted dh to cut the cord. So we covered her up completely again, except for her head, and dh came in and cut the cord. Then I wrapped ds in a blanket and laid him on the bed, sothat papa could pick him up. I didn't want to accidentally touch papa, so instead of handing him to him, I let him pick up his son (Muslim men should not touch women who are unrelated).

Then the most amazing thing happened. The baby the entire time had been just squalling. Papa handed me the video camera, and while I recorded (and the mw continued to care for mama, while both of them were under the sheet ) papa began to sing the call to prayer in babe's ear. The babe just stopped crying and was wide eyed and alert, looking around quietly. It was so beautiful. Then papa gave him to me, and went out while we did stitches on mama. Mama wanted to watch us do the stitches, so I held a mirror for her. She was totally uninhibited with us, but was with her husband (at least in our presence). They were both incidentally very young and very loving towards one another.

The second mama was not as modest with her husband...she had him there during the entire birth and repair. She was also the mam who wore a veil but no facial covering.

Both mamas were totally in control of the birthing environment. They dictated where their husbands sat, where they looked, where the dhs touched them, when they were in the room and when they weren't. I gave the tour to the more conservative couple, and I told them there were no restrictions on father participation, that papa could even catch the baby if he wanted to. I could tell the dh was interested in this (he was translating everything for the mama) and I could see that there was quite a lively discussion. Then the father turned to me and smiled slightly and said "H. says no, that the mw should catch the baby, not me." She was clearly in control of this realm!

Anyhow, all our foreign Muslim mamas come to us because A) we are cheaper than a hospital birth, and they have trouble obtaining insurance in the US; and B) we can guarantee that no men will be involved in the process--we have no male employees. There aren't any all female OB groups in the area, so this is a big draw for many of our mamas.

So far we have had American, Saudi, and Jordanian Muslim mamas birth with us (well, the Jordanian mama is due this month....). One American muslim mama was just like any other american mama. I didn't even know she was Muslim until I filled out the birth certificate. She always wore her hair covered, but in funky wraps rather than veils. The other American Muslim mamas have been American women who have married foreign Muslim men (usually university students or professors) and have reverted to Islam. They have been veiled, and wore modest but "normal" clothes. Their births were the same as any other mama, Muslim, Christian, or pagan, except that the father always sings the call to prayer in the babes ear. We always make sure that the first person to speak to the baby is the father. That was one Muslim family's request, and we just figured we can't go wrong with that. One father caught his baby, the rest have just been present and supportive.

No mama has worn a veil while birthing.
Several have had specific verses they have read/chanted in Arabic during the birth. All fathers have been present for at least part of the birthing process, with their presence dictated by the birthing mama.

Okay, so there are my brief descriptions of Muslim mamas birthing in the US in our independent birthing center. I don't know what it is like elsewhere (though I would really like to experience some births in an Islamic country, just to see what the typical birth is like for Muslim women).


Oh, and all of our Muslim mamas have breastfed. I believe the Prophet, or at least their faith, encourages them to nurse for two years, if possible. This is my understanding from my conversations with the one conservative mama. We got to be pretty good friends, though we didn't really have a common language, and did alot of speaking through hand signals and basic phrases. So I could have been mistaken.

eta holy cow, I didn't realize this was a freaking book! Sorry it is so long. Chocolate for you if you get to the end of this!
post #53 of 96
I get the first chocolate!

Just wanted to clarify, in case I worded it wrong - homebirth is illegal in Saudi Arabia, not in Islam. In Islamic history women attended birthing women at home.
post #54 of 96
Thx, lordijs, make mine Lindt.

Holy cow? that's Hindu!
post #55 of 96
Originally posted by DaryLLL

Holy cow? that's Hindu!
Weeeeellll, I may be from Kansas, but we can be rather worldly (or is it wordy?) here.....
post #56 of 96
Hey DaryLLL,

In your sig line, you have the word "Jai". What does it mean?

post #57 of 96

To the best of my knowledge:

The word by translation of the Sanskrit line is:
Jai-Live Forever
Deva-Heavenly One
Om-The Vibration of the Universe

Or, taken together, Glory To The Spiritual Master. OM

The quote is Lennon, but I ran out of room to attribute it. Sorry, John. I figured most here would recognize it.
post #58 of 96
Interesting. Thanks!

Jai (rhymes with fly) is my youngest daughter's name.

Lives forever. I like that!

post #59 of 96
(Poking head in)

Meryem was born 2 weeks ago and I have yet to master NAK...but mahdokht, masha-Allah!--I am in awe.

Just throwing in a quick comment that the nursing relationship is precious in Islam. In many cultures, babies are wet-nursed by friends, making them actual family. One cannot marry the children of their wet-nurse, for they are considered siblings. And two years is encouraged as what is "due" the child.

And adding that the simplicity of covering makes it highly attractive to some of us. I have several of the exact same dress in different colors, so for me it is something akin to wearing a uniform (which I just love). As mahdokht said, there are certainly fashions and trends...but it is also very easy to take it in the opposite direction and eliminate the worry about choosing a style, etc.

Not to mention whether "my butt looks fat in this." :LOL
post #60 of 96
Thread Starter 

You named her Mariam! That's my daughter's name too, mashaAllah. Mabruk on the new baby.
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