28 Jun 2005

BACK THEN

I was watching on Rotana Tarab one of Um Kalthoum's songs. Absolutely entertaining. Everything. From the music, words, way of singing, audiance, the orchestra, the setting, and... everything. I love it when the camera crusises among the audiance and you can get to see the faces. Some faces I recognize, and others I sure know.

Back then, not a single woman was veiled, no? Judging from the female audiance attending haflet al-siet. Could it be because these women were relatively upper class and thus the Hijab is not their thing. Maybe. But even in the old films hardly would you find a veiled women, apart from the low-class workers, and peasants from falaheen. I don't even think that these people were putting on the veil because they were religious or not, but because it was the norm. It was the dress code that constituted part of their identity. For instance, it was very easy to recognize a falaha from fayoum from another one from Mansoura, or Qina, Alex, Behira or zagazig. Their dress code differentiated between them. Everyone had his galabiya designed in a certain way, and with certain colours. The fayoum galabiya was the best. Beautiful light colours underneath which they wear a pants, and loosly cover their head with a black light scarf. Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. They looked vibrant.

Now, everyone, anyone and anywhere, they all wear the same dull coloured veil. Either the long scarf that covers them to their waist, and a long scarf, or if you are more into fashion you wear the tayeer, 2 pieces outfit, and put the scarf. I am not even going to talk about the more more fashioned group of veiled young girls and women. They managed to make the veil so a la mode and has its own fashion.

Men too have their own hijab. I don't mind them wearing white galabya to friday prayers, but I do mind when they wear a pants and make it a point to shorten it and make it obvious it is a short pants. Well, it looks lousy to me. I mean, it is not a pantacourt, nor a normal pants. Just looks like Adel Imam in one of al-Mohandise's shows. What is the point of shortening the pants?

They say because the prophet asked the men to shorten their galabiya as a sign of modesty, no? Well, this was in the past where arabs used to brag about that, and thus was a sign of arrogance, a jahili trait that the prophet sought to change. But now? Eh, we have Aramani, Valentino (my favourite), CD, ..... and we have the best designer one can go wear from them. Long pants or galabiya no more is the criteria of an arrogant people. On the contrary, the shorter you wear, the cooler you are. I also think that pantacourt pants were made specially to bug muslims. Really. You wear short pants, so here you go, a Pantacourt. Can you complain now. It is short, even shorter than the one you wear. Isn't this your logic?

Fake. Fake. Fake.

17 Comments:

Blogger doshar said...

i don't think that many men wear that shortened pants thing though. i think most of moderate muslims understand the reason behind it.

as for the times back then, when women were not veiled, that was actually a small part of our histroy. then, the religion issue was a taboo and can waddeeky fe dahia. politically i mean. people were discouraged to practice religion in public so there were no derous deen or even religion talk. if you had this blog back then you would have probably been arrested!!!

my mom actually tells me they were socially forced to wear mini skirts and such and she didn't like it all that much but had to do it because everyone else does.

so if religion was not strong with alot of people then, also its results as veil would not be there. for ex. you see in the old movies that it is very normal to drink alcohol in a muslim community.
if someone doesn't drink in a movie, they would never say "i don't drink it is haram", it would probably be "i don't like its taste" or "it makes me dizzy"

so hijab now i think is more common because of an increased religous awareness. of course i am talking about people who get veiled for religious reasons and not for social reasons.

a guy once told me that he thought girls get veiled so they wouldn't have to take care of their hair!!!

i couldn't believe it. that can't really be a reason can it?

everyone in veil that i know (including myself) have worn hijab purely out of religious reasons. and each one of us was as out going and stylish as you would wish before and after hijab.

yes alot of falahat wear it out of custom and habit, but that is not what i am talking about. if you do it for God, your reward is from God, if you do it for people, then you won't get that reward. dealing with God and religion actually liberates us from all the social pressure, because we don't care about anyone else as long as we believe in what we are doing.

6/28/2005 10:16:00 am  
Blogger haal said...

'so if religion was not strong with alot of people then, also its results as veil would not be there.'

There are lots of things re/your comment. But the most of which is your linking between veil and religion. I personally don't see a connection.

6/28/2005 10:28:00 am  
Anonymous DNA said...

Doshar-

The relationship between human and God liberates humans from their social contructs (although it shouldn't - religion is about organised society), but nevermind that.

What about people who become religious (i.e. finally find that connection with God) because of society? I mean, people who go to pray because everyone else does, not because they honestly 'connect' with God like that. What about them?

6/28/2005 11:16:00 am  
Blogger haal said...

'...although it shouldn't - religion is about organised society.'

What a statment Hellme.

6/28/2005 11:31:00 am  
Blogger doshar said...

DNA: i am not saying society is not important in islam. on the contraary, islam is a very social religion with a lot of teachings that encourage a healthy connected society. off the top of my head is the example of being encouraged to visit a sick muslim, or do an errand (7aga) for a muslim)

i am saying that when you believe in something, it frees you from restrain from other sources that are in contradiction with it

for example, zakat and sadaka frees us from our misery and teaches us how to be giving. it frees us from prejudice. it frees us from a society's pressure to do something wrong (because we have a stronger urge andmotive not to).

if not for religion we would be left prey to other influences, some may be good some may be bad. if it coincides with religion, then the better it is, if not, then we can just disregard it.

haal: There are lots of things re/your comment. But the most of which is your linking between veil and religion. I personally don't see a connection

how can you not?
if it was not an order by God, i would not have been veiled, to be honest. so it is a religous connection.

as i said before, i am not discussing the girls who do it and don;t act it, or do it for the wrong reasons (fiance asked them to, want to be more socially accepted or so on) maybe here religion is not linked awy. i am discussing girls who do it to please God, how could it not be related to religion?

6/28/2005 11:42:00 am  
Blogger haal said...

I don't too talk about girls who just take it out of social obligations. I am talking about those who link wearing the veil with religion. It is a long endless argument whether veil is an order. I just happen to side with that veil is not an order by God. I dont think it is 'it to please God'! Why God would be pleased from something like that. What does it signifies?

Apart from that, does your logic with wearing the veil goes as far as: 'since I wear the veil, I am one step ahead of those who don't', does this apply to 'wearing gloves, niqab...' in the sense they are 2, 3 steps ahead of the only wearing a veil?

6/28/2005 12:07:00 pm  
Blogger doshar said...

no i don't consider myself ahead of others in anything. i am not one to judge other people. momken someone yeb2a mish labes hijab and doing alot of other things better than me.

i am trying to be one step ahead of my old self, before i wore hijab . because it is one more thing God asked me to do that i am trying to do.

yes, i guess if you don't actually believe it is an order from God, you woudn't link it with religion, it makes sense. i do believe though that it is a fard, but that is off topic here. maybe another day.

6/28/2005 12:31:00 pm  
Blogger haal said...

Apart from fard or not, it is endless discussion, but the question is 'what does hijab signifies, what is its benefit to you and to the society, how does it make you a better person pleasing God...etc.' I would personally think of it in these terms.

Part of my thinking, is that I see Hijab as an 'political/ religious identity', a 'public space one' to differentiate between muslims and non muslims. I guess if Jews, for instance, wear hijab, muslims will search for another way to differeniate themselves from them...and so on. I just see it as an ongoing struggle to occupy public space.

6/28/2005 12:48:00 pm  
Anonymous DNA said...

Doshar;

So what you're saying is this: if people find shelter in any identity other than religion (i.e. something else that 'frees' them from social constructs, like goths or jockies or whatever), it's bad, but if they find shelter in religion (which liberates them from some things on one hand, then isolates them in another - according to some interpretations, most of them prevelant) that's good?

6/28/2005 02:44:00 pm  
Blogger doshar said...

dna. you don't get my point.

you said "So what you're saying is this: if people find shelter in any identity other than religion (i.e. something else that 'frees' them from social constructs, like goths or jockies or whatever), it's bad,


no not necessarily. if it agrees with what is right and wrong then i am all for it.

you aslo said; "but if they find shelter in religion (which liberates them from some things on one hand, then isolates them in another - according to some interpretations, most of them prevelant) that's good?

what it liberates us from is affection by something else. if that something else leads us to doing something wrong, then i am glad to be free of it.

if someone can actually get over an addiction motivated strongly that religion demands that wouldn't it be a good thing?

as for the things that are restircted to us by religion;

the laws of the country you live in has some laws which i am sure restrict you some. but you abide by it don't you

there is no shame in leaving something or giving up something because God requires us to do so.
you fast ramadan and give up food and drink for God. and you feel good bacause any sacrafice for God is in the right track and will be highly rewarded.

maybe i didn't express myself well,
lets say it liberates you from being misled by other influences. once you know your purpose in life is to worship and obey God,everything else can seem trivial and therefore we are free of its hold on us. we do what we believe is right and are able to leave what we believe is wrong.



it is not a matter of being sheltered from other influences, God knows we are not, especially these days with all the different opinions and trends, but it gives you the courage to not be affected

faith can give you the strenght to stand against things you never thought you could.

that is one of the ways of how i personally feel about my own faith, that i am stronger person because of it. i am more comfortable with all my decisions when they are influenced by religion. that is a personal view, naybe different people have different views of their faith.

.btw, i don't know what you mean by goths and jockies? can you clarify?

6/28/2005 04:55:00 pm  
Anonymous rahmanium said...

dosher
..."a guy once told me that he thought girls get veiled so they wouldn't have to take care of their hair!!!

i couldn't believe it. that can't really be a reason can it? "

well , it is a reason may be not for you(you can afford going to hair dresser) but for the majority of girls (remember we are 75 millions )it is a good reason, imagin how many girls can afford to go to hair dresser once a week , how much dose it cost a family with two girls and income 500 le./month or less, you see .. hejab can be a good solution in this case, its easier too.

another reason for putting hijab is the social element , just like your mom did wear mini skirts then for social demands , girls this days put hijaab for the same reason, in all the low standared areas (manatiq sha3bia) girls do it,for example lots of nurses (where i work)come to work putting hijab some of them remove it while working then re-put it again upon leaving when i asked "why are they doing this?" they said "we do not want to put it at this stage of our life ,but we cant go in and out where we live un-veiled..people would conceder us (bad girls)" see...they need a good reputation in the end which is sympolised now in hijab... do whatever you like but put a hijab and you will be ok.

..what is the purpose of hijab..? is'nt it for women not to be attractive for other men.., so what do you say in all this women and girls (whom are a huge number)who puts on hijab then try dispiritlly to be attractive in every other way ..tight jeans, heavy make up... you know and difintlly see .

cant we call it social hypocrisy

these days hejab is not just a religious issue,it is more of a costume driven by socioeconomic reasons initiated earlier by religion.
.. so"things are not what they seem"

i always liked the way people looked at oum kalthoom concerts , old moves and in my memories too ...

a side from the hijab issue egyptians used to look nicer,dressed better, and more enthusiastic ..what happened and why?

6/28/2005 05:52:00 pm  
Blogger doshar said...

rahumanium,
alot of your examples are true i admit. but these are bad applications of a good thing.

hijab is baree2 from these tasarrofat.

we are discussing hijab in its essence not in the context that it is used in according to your examples. if you read my earlier comment here, you will see i am not talking about people who do it for the wrong reasons

if someone pays a sadaka for reya2 purpose, does that make the problem in the sadaka issue or in the person who does this reya2? if alot of people perform this reya2, shall we stop giving sadaka?

these people might have given hijab a bad reputation. but it is no excuse not to wear hijab. do it for the right reasons and you are not responsible for those who do it for the wrong reasons.

some of my friends tell me these examples sometimes as an excuse to not wear hijab, and that is exactly what it is. excuses.

6/28/2005 06:20:00 pm  
Blogger haal said...

Excuse me guys and gals, what does hijab signifies? What does an extra hair cover has to do with pleasing god and being religious or good or anything?

6/28/2005 06:27:00 pm  
Blogger roora said...

hi haal , i guess you should ask sheyookh about that and they will provide you better answers , and scholored enough

for rahamnium , i want to comment on girls who wear tight geans and puts on make up and veil , we really make it harder on people when we ask them to suddenly be in veil and not wear make up or tight genas all suddenly , i guess things should be taken smoothly as our prohet PPBUH said in one of his ahadeeth by what it means that we whould enter in religon smoothly .

i mean we dont have to say take it all or leave it all , there is a conecpt called the Least,and i believe if that

6/28/2005 06:39:00 pm  
Blogger haal said...

Roora,
I dont think this is a question for sheyoukh, the ones who put on veil should at least roughly know what they are wearing mean or signify. Plus as far as I know, veil is not one of the 5 pillars of Islam, and thus open to various ra'y, cant drag it under fard. Anyways, this is not the purpose of the post though.

If you still believe that it is not our business to invesitage or try to understand why are we doing things, or what things mean, then it is your choice.

6/28/2005 07:38:00 pm  
Blogger haal said...

http://fromcairo.blogspot.com/2005/03/behind-veil.html

has interesting argument with the veil.

6/28/2005 07:57:00 pm  
Blogger roora said...

hi haal
yes of course veiled girls know why they are doinmg or at least for me

simply because i belive it is fard , and not putting it in i will take a sin and outting in on i will take a reward, it is as simple as that

the reason i told you ask sheyookh and scholars is because you are not convinced on the first basis that it is fard so they might be able to better convince you ISA

6/29/2005 02:39:00 am  

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