Why I wear the Hijab.

This piece was originally published at BikyaMasr.com.

Although I derive great pleasure from bemoaning the world’s obsession with – (cue sinister music) – THE VEIL, I have agreed to contribute my own two cents to this never-ending discussion. Between the “Aren’t you hot under that thing”, the “Babe if you took that veil off you would be soooo hot, like I would totally date you”, the “Do you wear the veil like all the time? Like even in the shower?”, and the “You’re oppressed, let me save you” I have no grandiose ambitions of ending this obsession. The world will continue to marvel over women’s bodies and the various ways in which we dare to exercise our own personal autonomy over them. I do not intend to discount the fact that many women are deprived of the right to free choice when it comes to what they wear. This applies to women who are forced to cover, those who are forced to uncover, and the many other atrocities we continue to hear about around the world. I am in no way making light of these atrocities. The below piece does not intend to end this debate (although I can’t say it wouldn’t be nice if that happened), but rather it is solely to provide a personal answer to a personal question I have received many times:

Why do you choose to wear the hijab?

Read the rest of my piece here.


October 22, 2009 Posted by | Islam, Personal | 2 Comments

Really Interesting Film: White Girl

Bafta award-winning White Girl is about a white non-Muslim family that moves to an area in the UK populated by Muslims. Really interesting, watch it!

October 5, 2009 Posted by | International Affairs, Islam, Media/Press | 1 Comment

To-do List

To-do list:

  • Finish the books on my ever-expanding reading list. At the top of the list are  “Faith in Divine Unity and Trust in Divine Providence” and “Disciplining the Soul” from al-Ghazali’s Ihyaa’ Uloom al-Deen (Revival of the Islamic Sciences). I also found a copy of “Deliverance from Error” at al-kotob khan, and it includes in the appendices a bunch of other texts, e.g. parts of al-maqsad al-asna fe sharh asma’ Allah al-husna,  parts of the Faysal which I understand is his essay on Takfir.  I’m going through a Ghazali phase these days, I don’t know why.
  • Attend the 6-day workshop at Bridges Foundation. It starts tonight inshallah. I hope it’s useful.
  • Start work on my own personal “project” to translate into English Sheikh Ali Gomaa’s al-Namozaj al-Maarefy al-Islami (The Islamic Intellectual Paradigm) to make sure I understand it correctly. The only way I can make sure I’ve understood something in Araby correctly is to see if I can translate it into English. If I can’t, then I know I’m not getting it.
  • Figure out what I want to do with my life. I know it’ll eventually be something in academia insha’Allah, because that’s the only area where I feel like I’m producing something with some semblance of value, but the question is which field. Over the course of the past few years I’ve jumped from Computer Science to Economics to Economic Development to Sociology to Political Science (they say that’s typical Gemini behaviour, but since I don’t buy into that stuff I pretend not to listen while simultaneously being annoyed at myself for not dispelling that myth). Now I think I’m finally settled on Middle East Studies and Islamic Studies. But I don’t want to lose my experience in economic development. So, if inshallah I decide to go back to academic research, I will probably be looking at something like an Islamic approach to development based on things like the Maqasid and the Sunnah, combined with a critique of how development is being done today in Middle Eastern countries (that should be the easiest part), and the field work would be a study of Islamic charity and development organizations in Egypt. Obviously this thought it far from complete, but at least there’s a seed of an idea that I can work on growing later.
  • Plan a short trip to Malaysia and pray to God that it doesn’t get cancelled at the last minute like most of my travel plans do.
  • Oh yeah, work. Sigh, why can’t I just bum around all day and still get paid?

October 1, 2009 Posted by | Personal | 2 Comments