Edit 1- holy pikachus, 559 upvotes?! over 500 comments? Oh my... wow...

Here's the proof


Edit 2- Oh man.. How can I read all of this? The emails finally stopped for a second and I have nearly 2000 comments? I'm so so so so so sorry for everyone I can't respond to or all the messages I may have missed!

Edit 3- I'm sorry but I kinda have a life, like my buddies and I need to go practice blitzball. Please PM me if you want me to answer anything long. I'll try my best to after I finish my dinner. I'll also try to work through this thread throughout the week to make sure everyone gets an answer. Thanks for entertaining me this morning. Please check our /r/islam for more fun stuff like this! BAI BAI

Edit 4- I hope Allah(swt) soften's the hart of the girl in other IAMA saying I am an extremist. May she get on the straight path to Jannah insha'Allah rather than turning away from our faith. Amen &&& I'm back to answer more questions. It looks like things have cooled so I can actually go through everything. I cannot belive I made the front page of this website, subhan'Allah. :D

Edit 5- It's midnight where I am. I scrolled through nearly everything, got down to the negative karama comments. I'll be going through my PMs one more time before bed and trying to PM people tomorrow as wel. I really hope this IAmA helped you guys understand Islam and hijab more. :D Ramadan Mubarak!!!

Edit 6

I was able to read all of this, yay! I hope to get PMs from you guys when I wake up.

Last Edit

Please direct ALL questions and comments to http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/xhpxe/part_2_iama_hijabi_ama_in_light_of_the_saudi/ . I am no longer able to answer your questions in this thread as I simply cannot find them without the page crashing unless they are in my PM box.

Comments: 3140 • Responses: 28  • Date: 

[deleted]1444 karma

My problem with the Saudi women competing at the 2012 Olympics is the way it went down, not the hijab, and not the women themselves.

You see, those women are not Olympic level competitors. They were never given the ability to become Olympic level competitors.

Saudi Arabia only wanted to send men to the Olympics, and it became this huge deal, as they were one of the few countries left that had never had anyone in the women's events. So they argued that there were no women in Saudi Arabia that could compete. And they were right.

Women in Saudi Arabia aren't allowed to train formally, they aren't allowed to rent gyms, it's not considered appropriate for a woman to exercise by many. There exist sports clubs out there for women to train in, but they're very much underground. (Note by this, I do not mean regular old gyms, but sport clubs where they could compete, like a national or regional team with qualifying matches -- and even then, women's gyms were targeted by the state to be shut down in 2009 and 2010.)

So basically, the only way for a woman to become an Olympian in Saudi Arabia would be to break the law, or at least risk getting stopped by the morality police.

So, once it became this huge issue that Saudi Arabia needed to send women to the Olympics (or else they might not be allowed to send men at all) the Saudi Arabian officials panicked. They went around trying to find anyone who could compete at all -- not in order to provide some equality for women, but to prevent their men from being banned. Neither of these women have qualified for the sports they will be attempting to medal in, because Saudi Arabia does not allow women to compete in qualifiers!

The problem I have is not with the women themselves, don't get me wrong. I find them incredibly brave. My problem is that a country that shuns women who exercise is being allowed to play-act at giving women rights. "See? We're so progressive, we sent women to the Olympic games" despite the fact that one of the women had to learn Judo from her father in the privacy of her own home without competing, and the other is a dual citizen living in a country that allowed her to train.... and hasn't since going to college.

In my opinion, it's perfectly okay for the IOC to ban Saudi Arabia from the games entirely, because they do not live up to the Olympic charter, which states that "The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind" and if a country wants to compete, they must live up to the charter.

Edit: The kung-fu movies thing was me being hyperbolic. Edit: Added an informative note explaining that I do not mean Saudi Arabia has no gyms on the corner where people can run on a treadmill... I mean teams and practices and qualifying matches that women are allowed to participate in. And they did make it very difficult for women to train by closing down almost all private women's gyms in 2009.

Edit: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hKiwteC_plpD5YhLZWZV-cIYwQ2Q?docId=4135ce5d785a4198bb64d3e77815b773 Moar citations.

random_hijabi634 karma

I agree with everything you said.

Ingilaug552 karma


random_hijabi270 karma

It's placed on men before women as men are told to lower their gaze first, and then women are told to do so.

Men and women both have hijab. Some men cover more than women actually, have you seen the Saudi men during the opening ceremony? The men and the women were covering the same parts of their body!

Shaysdays183 karma

How would you like the rest of us to explain your choice to our kids? I feel weird sometimes when my kids ask questions and I have only half-remembered facts and vocabulary words.

random_hijabi425 karma

In that lady's religion she feels dressing that way brings her closer to God, and she believes that God requires it. Think of the man/woman at temple/church/shrine/etc who was wearing the monks clothes/pope outfit/etc, she is doing it for the same reason as monk pope dude do except she does it every day. When she goes home she takes her hijab, that's the scarf on her head off, and wears whatever she wants. She only needs to wear it outside, like a special jacket. Why don't you ask that lady why? She may wear it for another reason that daddy/mommy doesn't know about.

That's what I would say. You can also just take them to a mosque and ask to speak with the wife of the imam. I wish more kids would just ask me though, I know their face is all confused and I want to fix the confusion. I mean... I might actually be a ninjas after all and a kid would love to meet a ninja. See http://i.imgur.com/4H1TM.jpg for more info.


How do you feel closer to god? Is it something you discovered personally (i.e. the first time you wore the clothes you felt a deeper connection to the diety you believed in) or was it something that you have been told by other muslim people (i.e. "Wear this and you will have a deeper connection to your god").

random_hijabi59 karma

When I'm wearing it while fasting I am constantly remembered about my fast and my obidence to Allah(swt). That's when I begun to notice it brought me closer to Allah(swt) by wearing it. You also have to wear hijab when praying, so being in pray clothes all the time brings you closer.

Jh789161 karma

Could you explain the difference between the different types of covering? I went to Dubai and saw many many different implementations of coverings as it is a very international city. Do women choose the type or is this dictated by what is most popular in their home country. For example, some women had black from head to toe, some had long "dresses" in addition to the head scarf but it was very colorful. Some covered their hair and wore "western" clothes. I know these descriptions aren't correct but I don't know what the respectful terms would be.


random_hijabi248 karma

Women wear what they feel fulfills hijab- hijab means to cover, nothing more. Some live in Miami where women wear revealing clothing, so to wear long sleeves and long pants with a scarf (the western clothes outfit) would be very modest. Other women in Miami say that is modest for the area, but not true hijab and cover face using a niqab as well as the hair using headscarf and wear the long black dress to conceal the body (called abaya). Some women feel the face veil is required by hadith (secondary sources) while others say only the wives of the Prophet had to wear them. You can see many disagreements.

In most cases women wear what fits in from their country or their heritiege as well as their religious conviction. Maybe ask someone next time, and you will see how women have different style for SO many different reasons.

To list

Niqab with Abaya http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/e5/Abayapair.jpg/220px-Abayapair.jpg

Tudong Indonesian Style http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/35/Jakarta_farmers_protest48.jpg/800px-Jakarta_farmers_protest48.jpg

Chador http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/cf/Women_in_shiraz_2.jpg/100px-Women_in_shiraz_2.jpg

Afghan Burqa http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/7e/Burqa_Afghanistan_01.jpg/400px-Burqa_Afghanistan_01.jpg

East of Arabia Burqa http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/0b/Bandari_Burqa.jpg/100px-Bandari_Burqa.jpg

Iraqi Chador http://www.essenceofblack.com/images/sa31_full1.jpg

Please see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_types_of_sartorial_hijab

Also- http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_ljew6r9up91qashd4o1_500.jpg Kick Butt Hijabi

Atheist101134 karma

Doesnt it get really really really hot in that especially when the covering is fully black and the temperature is 100+F (37C) and theres no wind or shade in sight?

random_hijabi160 karma

You see, I thought that too. I thought that the abays would make me very hot, and then I brought one and wore one- I nearly froze to death in 80 degree weather. It's made of very thin fabric and it bellows out so there's a draft going up your body as the air passed through the fabric onto you. I actually brought a baggy jacket to put over it because I cannot wear it when it's below 60 out unless I put on super thick pants and a few tops under it (you're only suppose to wear pants and a tshirt- not more should be needed under the garment in caes the wind blows it up and reveals your legs).

They come in all colors, I wear the black ones since it's the one I have the most of. There's a lot of shade in my area, not that it does much against the humidity, and a lot of sea breezes too. If I had a choice of what to wear in the middle of the hottest area I would honestly wear that with the thin scarf it comes with plus a big hat and sandals.

JonesBee275 karma

I nearly froze to death in 80 degree weather

I envy your heat tolerance. I sweat like a whore in a church when temperatures get close to 60.

random_hijabi104 karma


NrwhlBcnSmrt-ttck59 karma

About a year ago I saw the most beautiful Arab woman walking downtown wearing a full length, long sleeve black dress. Every guy was looking, she was GORGEOUS, and the dress was still flattering. Is that acceptable? Something made me feel she was from Egypt (from her face/dress). Despite the long black dress (it fit pretty well, she was tall and skinny).. she was perhaps the most distracted I've ever been by a woman walking randomly down the street in my life, moreso than if she were to be wearing a bikini (I do live in bikini weather). I liked it, but I think it's almost opposite of the point, don't you? I'm still obsessed, like a year later.

random_hijabi113 karma

Maybe you should find an Egyptian girl to marry? She was wearing an abaya. I've seen women like this too, she's wearing a scarf and all but I can't stop staring. All the beauty of her face is on display really, and the outfits fit her as it draws the viewer to the face. The fact is some woman are simply beautiful like a goddess and nothing they wear will hide it.

UnKamenRider170 karma

I had to stop a woman in the grocer once to tell her how lovely she was. She was wearing the full length, long sleeve, black dress, head scarf and part of her face was covered, but she had the most striking eyes. She said she was Saudi and doesn't hear that much and thanked me for being so kind. She mentioned that people frequently stare, so I explained that it might be because she just seemed so interesting and beautiful. Her eyes began to tear, and she thanked me profusely.

I'm a woman, though, so it might not have been as weird coming from me.

random_hijabi75 karma

Thank you. You made that woman's month.

Mac_H73 karma

You mentioned a couple of things that I'm curious about.

  • You talked about how if necessary to save a life then it would be acceptable to have the hijab removed. What about practical issues? For example - in my area I regularly (about once every week or two) see someone wearing a full burqa. What considerations should be given for people wearing full masks like that - especially when walking into banks where security will lockdown the bank if you approach wearing a balaklava? There was an interesting example recently where someone in a burqa gave a statement to police over an incident and the police didn't forcibly remove the burqa out of respect. However when the statement proved to be false she avoided criminal conviction by pointing out that it couldn't be proved that she was the one who gave the false statements - as nobody had removed her burqa to prove who it was who lied to police.

How should society adapt to cope with this? Should women in burqas be forced to give fingerprints or other forms of ID when entering banks or shops? Should they be treated any differently from someone who walks in wearing a balaclava? Should they be forbidden from taking part in every day society?

  • You often answered about how we should just walk up to someone and ask them directly. Is that seriously a good idea?

I feel (probably totally wrongly) that if I just walked up to a woman in a full burqa and asked her these questions that I'd be acting incorrectly. One option would be to instead ask the male who always seems to be with them ... but obviously I would never be so insultingly sexist as to direct my questions to someone else when they are right there - that would be disgusting behaviour .. only fit for a lowlife who refuses to see women as equals.

So who should I ask? Should I just follow your advice next time and walk up to one , introduce myself, and ask them directly? Can I give them your details if it causes offense ?

random_hijabi30 karma

That aussie case annoyed me since in the hadith it says when Muslims give a statement to court you MUST see our face or it's invalid.

It's simple, ask for a female worker and life up the veil and match your face to your ID. If the woman lacks ID, just showing her face and saying hey I'm a nice person should be fine.

Is there a College near you? Find a college girl in a headscarf late teens to late twenties and ask them. They'd be more than happy to answer your questions. Also ask them about the faceveil, they're use to these questions so it won't seem odd you're asking someone who doesn't veil the face such things. Honestly though, most of these girls like me get junk all day. For someone to just say salaam ramadan mubarak can I ask you about your veil? I'm really confused and want to teach my kids the right thing would be so amazing compared to the stuff we get from ignorance.

If it causes offence say a Muslim family friend said to just ask since she feels the barrier should be broken and real niqabis and hijabis should be answering these questions rather than the talking heads on the tele. :)

QuadFermented72 karma

Two questions:

First, proof please. A photograph of yourself in hijab with your face either concealed or edited out and a piece of paper saying "Reddit" and the date would be sufficient. To those who wonder why I am asking for proof, it would be interesting to know that this is someone who is experiencing the life they are talking about, rather than impersonating it convincingly.

Second, as an obviously intelligent and (dare I say it) feminist person who wears the hijab in the U.S., I suspect you believe that there is a satisfactory reason why women must cover up and men must not. Is it simply that this is what is required by the Qur'an, and that is the end of inquiry? Is the reason for the hijab to maintain the modesty of the woman while preventing the man from feeling lustful? If so, why is it that men need protection from immodest women while women do not need protection from immodest men? Perhaps, in your opinion, this is not the reason why the hijab is worn -- perhaps it has more to do with the woman's relationship with God. In that case, I wonder why a woman's relationship with God is mediated through a head covering while a man's is not.....

mightybird68 karma

My university has a lot of male exchange students from Saudi Arabia. Recently, a string of rapes have been linked to these male exchange students. Speaking to a female Muslim friend of mine from Morocco, she says it's because Saudis are culturally very predatory. This is a prejudice she has carried from Morocco to here. And it definitely appears to be true here as well. The percentage of sexual violence in this group of students is extremely high. Multiple guys have been convicted, mostly because they do not try to hide it.

What do you think about the stereotype of Saudi men being prone to rape and sexual attacks against women? Do you think it is because they grew up around women that wear hijabs?

random_hijabi201 karma

No, they grew up in a land where women are treated like trash so they treat women like trash outside their homecountry. It's gross. They will give you those gross looks if you're in a scarf or not, it's just how things are. If men and women were treated properly in KSA then things wouldn't happen. You have to remember that rape is a crime of power and opportunity, not looks.

Eibhlin_Andronicus48 karma

Whenever you see women walking around without a hijab, do you feel they are being immodest? Or is wearing the hijab really just something quite personal to you?

I don't wear a hijab. I'm not Muslim. Heck, I'm not even religious, but whenever I see a girl or woman wearing a hijab, I'm taken aback by how absolutely beautiful they look. I attend a large public university in the USA, and there's a pretty substantial Chinese student population. Many of them are Muslim, and more often than not they look stunning in their hijabs. They also seem to have a hijab of almost every color and pattern imaginable, which is really quite impressive.

random_hijabi75 karma

No, sometimes I think their outfit is cool and other times I think it's ugly like any one else hehe.To wear hijab is personal to me, so I only think of myself when I wear it. Sometimes I get confused though when a girl is wearing it in a uncommon way- I am unsure if she is Muslim or not!

Aw thank you. Are you sure it's Chinese and not Indonesian? Many Muslims in China but most are quite poor while people in non-Muslim area like beijing are rich and are able to come to the US for education. Indonesians though, most are Muslim so rich or poor most likely Muslim Indoneisan than not.

Yeah.. we do get the collections over the years. It's sad when you buy one patten and then it wears down. We buy our scarves online or use pins to makethem looknice. Look up haute hijab to see!

Eibhlin_Andronicus33 karma

I'm sure we have Indonesian Muslims, and I've heard Malaysian Muslims talk, but I've also heard multiple girls speaking Chinese while wearing a hijab. We do have a pretty international population, though.

random_hijabi41 karma

Your school sounds like such a fun place to be.

[deleted]48 karma

Are you happy to wear hijab and niqab?

Is it your personal choice?

How do you feel about muslim women who dont cover?

random_hijabi97 karma

  • Yes. Sometimes it is difficult because of how people perceive me, but at the end of the day I am happy I observe the veil. I see it as a small thing I can do for Allah(swt) on top of benefiting myself-- before I wore hijab/niqab I lacked confidence but now I feel I am the sexist woman out there!

  • Yes. No one has made me wear it though many have requested I do not wear it. I am unable to wear it around my family or my husband when we are in public most of the time.

  • I don't care much. I feel... I feel like a flower blossom inside me with happiness when I saw all the Olympians wearing it with pride as well as the volunteers leading the teams, but I also felt pride for the Muslim women in general willing to dedicate themselves to their sport and nation.

[deleted]37 karma

What does the swt in Allah(swt) mean?

random_hijabi73 karma

SWT is from Arabic meaning "subhanu wa ta'ala" which translates as "Glorified and Exalted" while Allah just means monotheistic God.

_cornflake31 karma

How old were you when you started observing hijab?

Do the other women in your family wear hijab or niqab too?

Do you ever feel people are treating you negatively, or making assumptions about you, like that you must be oppressed, when you are wearing hijab? (Obviously that might be kind of hard for you to answer because I don't know if you can really remember how people treated you before you wore it... but anyway.)

Not related directly to being hijabi but about being Muslim in general: do you pray at specific times every day? (I'm sure there's a proper term for this but I don't know what it is, sorry.) You mention you live in the US, is it ever difficult for others to understand why you need to stop what you're doing to pray?

Thanks for doing this IAMA!

random_hijabi54 karma

  • I was 19.

  • No, they are not Muslim.

  • All the time, nearly every day. One side thinks I am a terrorist or that my husband beat me into submission to wear it (not noticing he is sighing at me going out once more in it!) while the other thinks I am very religious and expect things that I cannot deliver on.

  • Islam says we're suppose to pray between x time and xtime. For example the morning pray was between ~4:50am to 6am today, and the prayer take about 4 minutes to do so you have lots of room though praying as soon as possible is better. I try to do my prayers on time, but I don't always. Many things in Islam come easy to me, but doing the prayers have not. People don't seem to care much. Sometimes they will stare if I do it in public, but otherwise people are very nice about it. I mean- I'm off to worship Allah(swt) not murder their grandmother. I have never asked to do it at work though- I rather pray in private in my home.

You're welcome. Ramadan Mubarak non-Muslim amigo/a.

is-this-kosher32 karma

Did you convert to Islam? I made the assumption you were born/raised in Islam, but if you started wearing hijab at 19 and your family is not Muslim, perhaps I'm mistaken.

random_hijabi34 karma

  • Yes
  • Most girls wear it in their teens or after marriage.

ohmyemgee12 karma

What is your ethnicity?

random_hijabi17 karma


omnishruk12 karma

What inspired you to convert? Were you religious before your conversion?

PS Thanks for doing this IAmA!

random_hijabi6 karma

I was Christian or wiccan, depends how you see it.

[deleted]27 karma


random_hijabi43 karma

opps forgot to answer your second question.

Some do, like they ask me about Islam more or not assume things since they know random_hijabi and she's cool so not all muslims are bad since our friend isn't bad etc. People assume I eat a lot of arab food though, and say oh how do you make falafal or how do you do this or that? How the heck would I know.. I'm American.

random_hijabi41 karma

You are correct, but your friend is a person at the end of the day who chooses how she follows hijab. Some women only wear it on fridays to and from the mosque. Others wear it all the time like me unless her husband gets grumpy or she feels her life may be at risk. Others take it off around close friends because they love their friends and feel their friends won't go tattle about how she looks under the scarf or whatever it may be. Have you been friends since childhood? She may see you as a brother and taking off the scarf around you is her being in sibling mode.

They're super good at eye make up, google kohl.

imnotreallypjottr18 karma

When are people allowed to see you without hijab? What if you get into an accident or a bird poops on your head?

random_hijabi54 karma

  • Think about inside clothes and outside clothes. You dress up to go to a work meeting, but once you are home those clothes go straight to the laundry bin and on comes the sweat pants and baggy t-shirt-- the work outfit is your outside clothes and the lose soft clothing your inside clothes. It is the same for me. When I am outside I wear it because I am around men I am not related to most of the time, and when I am inside my home I am around men I am related to most of the time. (note-- Muslim women do not need to cover around other women). Is it clear?

  • If there is an emergency Muslims are able to drink alcohol, eat bacon, and be nude in public if it somehow cures us of our nearly fatal condition. A road accident where the EMT must touch me even though he is male or take off my scarf to access a headwound is fine. If my scarf gets very dirty by bird poop or blood from a nosebleed for instince I would go to the nearest bathroom, take it off, wrap it in paper towel, put it into my back, take out the spare on, and pin the spare clear scarf on. If I forget my spare scarf at home I will improvise with a hood from my jacket or borrow a scarf from a classmate. Think- if your shirt rips you wuld find ways to fix it since no one wants to see your hairy chest, it's the same for me except my hair is on my head only alhumdulliah.

dpung18 karma

Oh my 20102 is pretty far away! Are you immortal?

random_hijabi67 karma

hahaha just noticed!!!! Shhh it's a secret!!! I'm gunna do umm blitzball for the United State of Japan and Ryukyu Islands then!

roby9115 karma

When you're out with your bf/husband in a non-muslim area, how are you two treated? In the west many believe hijab is an oppressive element in a male dominated society.

random_hijabi48 karma

We get stared at, a lot. People think we cannot speak English or think my husband is mean to me (he is very good to me). Sometimes people curse at me or him. We know in the back of our heads everything we do is being watched, so we need to put on a show of the perfect couple- it's stressful.

_Dodecahedron_10 karma

What do you think about the current women condition in countries where Islam is the national religion?

random_hijabi44 karma

You mean Islam as the religion of the state, not at the majorty religion correct? I think many things as it is very differnt. We have Saudi Arabia which is very strict and some rules against Islam (women can't drive but the Prophet(pbuh)'s first wife rode camels! and Ayesha rode one into battle! That was the 'cars' for that time!!!), and then we have Iran which says women must wear scarf which is not good as forcing religion on someone is bad as there is no compulsion in Islam. We have, on other side, places like Malaysia where women seem to be treated very well and have same rights as European women. It is very difficult. I can only give opinion by each country or by each law, sorry.

bloodbag8 karma

Do you believe workplaces in other countries that don't follow your religion should accommodate for your dress requirements/preference?

What is your opinion of people who say you should "adjust to our culture if you want to live here"?

random_hijabi35 karma

I am in the USA, so I am lucky because by law they must accommodate me. I think they should try hard to, it's only a peice of cloth on my head and long sleeves. I will wear the color and style they want me to even if I dislike it, so they should meet me halfway and permit me. I will not wear some big dress and cover my face and expect them to let me work at the machine with lots of things to pull me in- that's dangerous, but if I am just an office worker I should be able to wear lose pants or lose to ankles skirt with lose long sleeve top and scarf tucked into the top.

http://hijab411.com/images/news/images_med/computer.jpg and http://thumbs.dreamstime.com/thumblarge_637/1317836975oNdOAB.jpg is professional, right? The scarf is not intrusive or not fitting the work environment.

I am a part of American culture, so I do not understand. I have never been told that. I was born here, so I don't understand why it's a us vs them thing.

Matronedea4 karma


random_hijabi4 karma

I go out. I would wear thermals, my ski socks on, a wool skirt, tight athletic long sleeve under armor top, a wool sweater, a knit hat that goes over my ears, my abaya, a thick winter scarf, a niqab, a big shawl over my head, and a long jacket that goes to my knees with a nice hood and ski gloves. Yeah. That would do it. :) Also nice boots so I dont slip on ice. I lived in Minnesota, so while my heat tolerance is low I do know how to deal with the cold. Only rule is be Midest and cover up.

I have a bright green rain jacket- I look funny in it but it does the job. I also can use an umbrella like everyone else lol.