Growing up as a non-hijabi Muslim, people have always been judgmental towards the fact that why I don’t wear a hijab (head cover) or an abayah (burqa) and they’ve asked gazillion questions on different occasions regarding the same. And before I can even give an answer to any of their questions, these are the most general assumptions they make:
“Hey, you are one of those Modern Muslims, who don’t have to wear a hijab. That’s so cool.”
“So your family is not backwards and that’s why they don’t force you to wear it”
“Education makes you open-minded and that’s why you don’t wear those batman outfits.” (They are referring to burqas)
And this is my personal favorite –
“Are you even a real Muslim? Since you don’t wear a hijab.”
To such judgmental, and insanely clueless people, first of all, thank you very much for your trenchant and deep analysis of my choice and for deciding only a hijabi women qualifies as a real Muslim. However, there are certain things you need to know before you go all wary with assumptions, Burqas are not batman outfits (though the reference is super-cool I must say). And not wearing one doesn’t make us any less Muslims. Wearing or not wearing a hijab has got nothing to do with our level of education. In fact, it is a personal and a very difficult life choice that women deal with in their lives and it doesn’t make them oppressed. Also, this may come as a surprise for a lot of you but not wearing a hijab or burqa neither makes us more cool nor modern than our sisters who do wear it.
Because the (bitter) truth is, the hijab is not a symbol of woman’s piety or her devoutness. Though I agree it is an obligation clearly mentioned in the Quran. However, the choice to wear or not depends on an individual and should not be imposed. In fact, it should not be a topic that needs to be discussed among other people. The acts of another Muslim (Women) should not be another’s concern. That connection is between her and God, not between her and the entire ‘pious’ population. Her deeds are her own, and she alone is responsible for all of them. Not her husband, her family or even friends. Nobody, I repeat, Nobody has got a right to judge a non-hijabi woman. And the same rule applies for hijabi women too.