Muslim Women and Sexuality.

Do Muslim women care about their sexuality? Do Muslim women care to maintain their physical appearances? Lastly, do Muslim women care to feel “sexy”? These are the questions many non-Muslims have been asking and enquiring about online. So I have decided to have a go in answering some based on my own experiences from the Muslim women around me. Many individuals from the secular society particularly, are having a hard time putting Muslim female and the adjective “sexy” together. The primary reason for this being the female’s Islamic dress, which defeats the purpose to look sexy. However, does a Muslim women ever feel sexy? And what is her definition of sexy? Well, being a young Muslim myself my definition of “sexy” is more focused on how one carries themselves and how much intelligence as well as a good sense of humour they have. But of course, let’s keep this focused more on the physical aspect as that is what many are confused about when it comes to Muslim women. Do I feel “sexy” in my hijab? Hmm honestly no, and nor am I meant to, do I think it enhances my looks? No yet again. But do I feel comfortable and myself in my hijab? Yes and Yes! However, how we feel is not as important in the Western culture, its more about we look.

When non-Muslims or even Muslims particularly from the West discuss about women and attraction, the talk is always inevitably linked to men. It can be argued, that in the Western society women are nothing more than just male gaze. Even some feminists believe women should not look “sexy” as they are becoming victims to male gaze. We are so obsessed with the idea that whenever a woman wants to dress up (or down) she has the intention to arouse a man. Even when discussing Muslim women and if they care about their sexuality, many believed if a women wears loose clothing she cannot feel sexy as the men around her do not find her desirable. In fact the main common dominator in this argument was men. It had nothing really to do about how the WOMAN FEELS but in fact it was really if men find covered women sexy. Therefore, it was hard to engage and answer questions as everything had to do with how men felt oppose to the original question asked “Do Muslim women care about their sexuality? Do Muslim women care to maintain their physical appearances? Lastly, do Muslim women care to feel “sexy”?

However, moving away from the focus of men and how nonsensically sexist our society is. It really did get me thinking, do Muslim women care about being “sexy”. So if Muslim women are always covered and wearing baggy and loose clothing, do they care to look and feel “sexy”. Well as being a Muslim women myself and interviewing others, the answer is hell yeah! Why? Well because we’re human just like everyone else. Of course, we want to look and feel good about ourselves. Some of the Muslim women I enquired felt “Feeling sexy, is like being empowered” also “But who are we feeling and looking desirable for? Ourselves or men?” A married Muslim women has the Islamic duty to get dolled up for her hubby and vice versa. Those who believe a Muslim woman has no right to feel and look desirable due to her Islamic clothing are mistaken as the Qur’an highly encourages married couples to beautify themselves as physical attraction is too important. Society finds it hard to accept the fact that a Muslim women has duty to only please her husband and not be male gaze to other men. Just because men don’t find a Muslim woman who  is seen covered from head to toe desirable that does not mean her spouse feels the same. Society is so fixated on the ideology that a woman has to be wanted by a lot of men, and if she is not then she is not “sexy”. She has not passed the “sex factor” if a number men do not find her attractive.

Back to the statement “Feeling sexy, is like being empowered”, a powerful declaration as it takes away the physical aspect of being sexy and allows us to focus more on how we are. A confident woman who does not require a man’s approval, a woman who does not get dressed up to the nines just to head into town and win over a sleazy man’s attention, a woman who is concerned with social issues and refuses to conform to her degrading stereotype is the ultimate sexy. And if this is the type of “sexy” that makes Muslim and non-Muslim women feel empowered then it should be practiced and focused on a lot more than just the physical. Perhaps it is time to redefine what a sexy woman is and what being sexy even means, as currently we are still holding on a man’s opinion and definition. In a final attempt to answer the three questions proposed, Do Muslim women care about their sexuality? Do Muslim women care to maintain their physical appearances? Lastly, do Muslim women care to feel “sexy”? As a Muslim young woman myself my personal answer is yes but less for the men around me as my faith encourages me not to base my worth on what a man may think.

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31 thoughts on “Muslim Women and Sexuality.

  1. Awesome post, and one thing I struck me hard.
    “But who are we feeling and looking desirable for? Ourselves or men?” … Unfortunately the reality is that MEN be it white, brown, black or whatever always think that women are dolling up for them and their gaze and their approval etc etc. Talk about insecurity?!
    Another day one of my European colleague said to me all women dress to seek attention of men. f
    This sort of nonsense is disturbing and dangerous and more down the lane, an excuse used for harassing, abusing women by whatever means.
    Sexuality of Muslim women is by far a very controversial issue. Because it ONLY focuses on the “MARRIED MUSLIM WOMEN” and how they need to follow Islamic decrees on dolling up, excellent summation by you here.
    However, most Muslim writers and feminists too shy away from speaking of unmarried Muslim women’s sexuality because as unmarried maidens, houris, houreen we aren’t supposed to have any ideas or feelings for or about our sexuality and looking good — in straight laced theology and practice THIS is NOT supposed to exist at all.
    Not straying away from topic, according to most mulla brigades, unmarried Muslim women aren’t supposed to have confidence, clear idea on their personal sexuality, etc and etc. Because until a man doesn’t marry them to uplift their lowly singly status, they are worthless.
    Its a shame that both eastern/Muslim and western/liberal societies in their own way put pressures and dictate Muslim women sexuality, something as a feminist I find appalling and unacceptable. Sorry for the long ranting here, but your post inspired me way too much!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for your comment was a pleasure to read (even waited till I got home so I could it read it peacefully). Yes of course, this twisted ideology many men have does allow then to have an excuse when it comes to sexual harassment. Regarding your second point your right many Muslim women do shy away from the sexuality of a Muslim woman and do mostly focus on married women. I too myself was hesitant and didn’t want to offend any women out there. A young female whose not married speaking of sexuality, I’m sure if some read my post they would pro ark question my “loose” character lol! Furthermore, that’s very true what you said many do only believe a woman is allowed to carry confidence and dress up once she’s married. My father too discourages me to wear makeup as apparently makeup only looks good on a married woman. However, many unmarried Muslim females are now more empowered then ever, hence I was even allowed I discuss this with them and not be judged.

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  2. This is exactly the sort of thing I am talking about, Hajra. As a human being and young adult (marital status no matter) you have the right to speak, think and even write on this issue of Muslim women sexuality. Totally, I understand your hesitation and also I stand with you for taking the plunge to write this, you have some ins to my experience and yes I too have to curtail my mindless wandering into “NO GO MUSLIM KHANDAAN KE IZAAT” areas while am at home.
    To set it right, you aren’t offending any ladies with this post at all, am sure many have liked and even pondering on this insightful piece of your’s.
    I am sure the societal dictates and decrees make you father worry for you, because after all you are his unmarried daughter and this is his way of protecting you, and it makes me teary because I am an orphan. Coming back to point, the funny thing is that the world continues it stereotyping of Muslim women. Let me tell you a funny story, a while ago a foreign embassy’s delegation came to my office for a meeting on women in media project. They were supposed to meet the Program Director that coughs.. was me. They were shown to the meeting room and I walked in, greeting them. I was given the once over and dismissed, by this white man suited in Armani and his female colleague (quite high maintenance). They asked me in a snooty voice where was Ms. Haq so I had to inform them she is right there with them.
    Apparently, they couldn’t believe/ didn’t accept that that a woman in my position could be working in her office, without any make up, wearing jeans/sneakers and green t-shirt with our latest campaign logo on its back! And on top of that don;t forget the Muslim tag!! Me and the team laughed so much afterwards at this incident, and one said that probably they expected a lady with hijab and heavy oriental eye make up (this is very common in Pakistan and am sure you ,might have seen this on your trips). Btw: reminder to selves as we do need to get on the collaboration? are we still good?

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    1. What’s more interesting is that unmarried Muslim men are allowed to speak of sexuality as many young brothers to in Islamic conferences but strangely there’s not many sisters doing the same. What you said about the father I guess its true, if a unmarried girl is all dolled up society will judge her and after all I am father’s izzat as he says.

      Your story was very interesting especially their reaction and what you said “they probably they expected a lady with hijab and heavy oriental eye make up”. So they don’t mind if a unmarried hijabji is dolled up but have a problem accepting and taking seriously an unmarried young woman who is dressed normally. Strange world eh? regarding the collab post, its actually got me thinking why don’t we expand on this? I’m sure you have plenty to say and to be fair I wanted my post to be even more though provoking and with your help we can take this on the next level. Let me know what you think?

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  3. Very interesting ! I´m looking foreward to reading a lot of interesting statements on your blog.
    But I think that your interpretation of not.Muslimwomens view of their sexuality is a little bit stereotyped. I mean, clothes may be important but that´s not really the point. Feeling sexy is also based on your real sexual life ! As a non-married Muslim women is supposed not having any sexual life it may be difficult for them to have a well-founded opinion about other womens sexuality and relation with men in profesional and private life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for taking time to read! I have to disagree with your first point as many Muslim women both married and non married that I interviewed helped me built this post. Some of the questions were to do with physical appearances so how they felt about they’re bodies had dress attire. Many of the women said of course they care but more for themselves than the rest of society. I see where your coming from your second point. Indeed a non married woman may not have the full depth understanding of her sexuality as she is still a virgin oppose to a married woman. However, the questions that were asked were more focused on physical appearances rather than being sexually active. Many people who I conversed with had a hard time understanding and accepting a Muslim woman both married and non married to be considered “sexy”, due to the Islamic dress. The main focus and confusion was based on physical appearances, so that’s what I aimed to answer in this post 🙂

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  4. An other one of those now countless so called “muslim feminists”. This disguisting wave of university educated women really symbolisizes all the problems that arize for the muslim community from college education for women – soon muslims will grasp, that it was the biggest mistake in their history to allow higher education for women.
    Now we have countless hypocritical women Who want to destroy Islam from within and tell us that islam is a feminist Religion.
    You know as i Do know that islam actually is a patriarchal religion, that the Quran requires that the wife has to obey her husband and that he’s the Head of the house hold. Thats just two examples for the patriarchal nature of islam.
    And to use the Word “sexy” in an islamic context, Shows the Morally deviant nature of you.
    By the way, if i could have it my way i would Put all those “muslim feminists” into the prison of guantantamo bay and Abu Ghuraib for life.

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    1. “Islam is actually a patriarchal religion” that’s strange as my prophet that many look up to and follow his ways married a woman who he worked for and also encouraged his wife with her business. I’m assuming you would never allow a man to marry a business woman as its against your religion. But not mine. In my faith women are given rights, in fact a whole chapter in the Qur’an is dedicated to women. Husbands are encouraged to show their wives love and respect. The nobel prophet’s wife Khadijah (RA) was a strong and intellectual woman whom he loved all his life. Tell me do you what do you think of Khadijah (RA)? A strong successful woman inspiring many Muslim women to become like her. My faith is perfect, fair and full of love. We have a different perception on what is Islam is no doubt. “if i could have it my way i would Put all those “muslim feminists” into the prison of guantantamo bay and Abu Ghuraib for life” your conclusion gives me the impression your version of Islam is full of anger and hate? Nonetheless, it’s up to you how you interpret this post, for me it’s defending Muslim women from the Western society’s warped ideology. As you can see I summarised my faith allows me not consider my worth based on what men feel. If you find the talk of sexuality wrong than that’s your own issue but please don’t no use my faith to back your version of what Islam is 🙂

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    2. Regarding your point about no education for women, well this is about to get pretty awkward as I’m sure your aware who established the worlds first university. “The name Fatima Al-Fihri crowns the annals of history with the distinction of having established the world’s very first university. Yes, it was a Muslim woman who pioneered a model of higher learning coupled with the issuance of degrees of various levels” I really haven’t got a clue if we’re even talking about the same religion? Your points seem to contradict the actions of many Nobel Islamic figures.

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  5. Are muslim wifes obligded to obey their husbend? Yes or no?

    We always hear your kind yelling about rights. Do muslim women have duties also? Yes or no?

    Is the husbend the Head of the family?

    Khadijah (RA) which is always abused by your kind to justify feminism is no proof against patriarchy. The Story of her is Not Some Kind of a Sex and the City of the 7th century – as yourkind want to Portray it. She didnt have small children she had to Care for at that time. The muslim women belongs into the household.

    By the way Do you know that patriarchy just means that men are heads of Families and states and of the public arena during which women are First and foremost housewifes? Patriarchy just means the leadership of men in Societies. And all This is exactly what islam is about. Islam is about family Values and not female hedonism in form of careerism.

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    1. You make marriage sound so dull and abusive, for real. Why not also speak about how the prophet urged men to be kind to women, here are a Here are some quotes by Prophet Muhammad SAW about women- “And woman is a leader of her husband’s house and she is accounted for that”, “Women are the twin-halves of men”, “He is the most perfect Muslim whose disposition is best; and the best of you are they who behave best to
      their wives.” It’s clear your interpretation of “patriarchy” is way off, it’s a little more than just men being the heads. I’m under the impression of a confusion of what patriarchy is. However, your entitled to your own opinion. As a Muslim I am encouraged to treat all beings with respect and tolerance. I definitely won’t refer to you as “your kind”.

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    2. So you are not for Khadijah (RA) being a business woman then? You would prefer her more if she was just a housewife or if the Prophet wasn’t her employee once? Hmm interesting. Thank you for your input, this discussion was interesting.

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  6. Feminism is an evil marxist ideology, which aim is the destruction of the family, glorious manhood and societies through the destruction of its male leadership and the traditional concept of manliness along with that and the encouragement of female rebellion against the role as a housewife.

    Feminists and women who leave the household are by shaytan spurred on whitches whose aim is to destroy Muslims from within and who are supported by our evil enemies.
    Hopefully Allah will guide yourkind or rid us of yourkind.

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    1. Why do you keep saying “your kind” I’m human, why what are you? I’m guessing a angry, ignorant robot. Your definition of feminism is what society feeds you, “angry men hating women”. Your a victim to society’s ideology. May Allah SWT guide all of us. Ignorance and pride is hardly pious neither and pretty sure something the shaytaan to encourages.

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  7. I did not deny that, that men have to be nice and all that. By the way to mention all that us Not Hard. Because Its Very politically correct. The Problem is that yourkind will never mention the pollitically incorrect stuff.

    And you dont answer questions.
    Do women have to obey?

    And your point that women are leaders of your house disproves you – thats exactly being a housewife and mother.

    What i ment was that khadijah RA was in the Age when her children where grown adults and No needy children who needed a housewife and mother for care.

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    1. And you have not answered my reply about highs education for women. To be honest with you, I think your confused you keep contradicting yourself. Do women have to obey men, yes why? Men are the safekeepers, does his authority give the right to abuse and hurt? No.

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    1. Why so obsessed with housewives! This post and my replies have not belittled housewife’s at all, in fact the only person discussing that is you. Seems like you have a problem. You still haven’t answered to my education for women reply. No matter what I say you’ll think bad of me, perhaps you just don’t like females that much. Well it’s not my fault my faith has so many female role models as well as men. Take it up with the Qur’an not me. Goodnight.

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  8. I dont say men can abuse.

    Im Highly sceptical towards higher education for women. Who dont need more sociologists, gender scientists, Artists or shallow gossipreporters. These are at Best use less parasites and destroyers.
    A womens natural role is being a housewife and mother.

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    1. I have denied neither, in fact you haven’t even asked what my opinion may be. Just came with hate and rage. I have spoken to you with respect. You have done the complete opposite, as a Muslim it’s my job to respect everyone. You made a negative assumption when really you should think the best of the people of your ummah. If you were a tad nicer and had a better approach then constantly referring to me as “your kind” making me sound like some dirty animal I would have been willing to listen. However, whatever you say pal, it’s beddy byes for me. Thank you for taking time to read my post.

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    1. Schlechtes, ekelhaftes Benehmen lässt auch das klarste Wissen in schlechtem Licht erscheinen. Eine Schwester schreibt einen Artikel, der nicht das geringste mit Feminismus zu tun hat und sie haben nichts besseres zu tun als ihr zu wünschen das sie anstelle anderer von Bomben zerfetzt werden sollte.
      Das hat nichts mit Feminismus zu tun. Das ist ein unislamisches, ekelhaftes, niederes Verhalten.
      Selbstverständlich haben sie Recht und zu Recht vermuten sie Feministen an jeder Ecke.
      Sie sind ja auch wirklich überall. Ich hatte erst neulich welche in meinem Kaffee. (Ironie off)
      Ja, feminismus ist unislamisch und lächerlich. Genauso wie ihr Verhalten.
      Polemik ist unislamisch oder bringen sie mir einen Hadith, indem sich der Prophet s.a.s. dieser unwürdigen Rhetorik bedient hat. Übrigens:
      Unnötige Kontaktaufnahme ist von Shaytan.
      Polemik ist vom Shaytan.
      Beleidigungen sind vom Shaytan.
      Unnütze Rede ist vom Shaytan.
      Unhöflichkeit ist vom Shaytan.
      Verwünschungen sind vom Shaytan.
      Kehren sie doch erstmal vor ihrer eigenen Tür und was noch viel wichtiger ist: Halten sie sich von meinem Blog fern! Der heißt Frauen und Islam! Warum fühlen sich sich genötigt dort etwas zu kommentieren?
      Menschen wie sie sind es, die erschweren und abschrecken. Nicht durch falsche Ansichten sondern durch die falsche Art und Weise.
      Antwort weder hier noch auf meinem Blog erwünscht, sie haben sich dieser armen Schwester schon genug aufgedrängt.

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  9. Funny, I’m an American Christian divorced mother of two and found this post after surfing through the tag “male gaze” after I used it in a post wishing to take my daughter and join a convent where we could wear nun’s habits and not have to worry about our “sex appeal.” The flat truth is that it is exhausting living in a culture that defines my worth based on my attractiveness. God made me to please and serve Him, not some scumbag man who just wants sex!

    Liked by 1 person

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