Uncovered Too – Women Who Took Off The Hijab Speak Out!

Standing behind bars in prison uniform it suddenly occurs to me that ‘orange’ is so NOT my color! Prosecutors and defendants exchange witness lists, while the judge slams that golden gavel and yells “SILENCE IN THE COURT ROOM!”.

Here come the opening statements. This isn’t going to be pleasant people.
Oh my God, what have I done?

“Ms. Mohsen is the new kid on the block, your honor. She had no right to judge ‘uncovered’ women in her last article. A life sentence in jail is what this so called Islamic writer deserves!” The Prosecutor argues.

“Life sentence? Dramatic much?!” I mumble to myself.

“Your honor, with all due respect, my client did not mean to offend or judge anyone. If anything, the whole reason behind this writing was to celebrate the ‘true icons’ like she mentioned. After all, Hijab is an Islamic obligation, according to chapter 24, verse 31 of the Holy Qur’an.” My lawyer explains.
Way to go girl!

My wild imagination aside, the feedback on the article “Uncovered: Why More Women Are Taking Off Their Hijab” was overwhelmingly vast I literally had to lock myself up and stare at the wall for a while. Gratefully, most of the comments were extremely positive and uplifting, and I humbly take this opportunity to thank our readers for this overpoweringly huge boost. Even so, still some people perceived the writing (or perhaps me) as judgmental, superficial, narrow-minded, and one reader basically asked me to shut up J

Rejection and criticism can be great tools in helping us develop thicker skin. One of my greatest teachers once said: “Let no praise make you arrogant and let no condemnation drag you down.” While it gave me utmost joy to celebrate those beautiful strangers who still continue to wear the Hijab, I think it’s only respectful to reveal the other side of the story, about the Muslim women who decided to take it off… The ones who felt judged, criticized and, most of all, misunderstood…


Who Are We Judge?

But is that what my article sounded like to non-Hijabis? Like I’m judging them? If the answer is yes then I’m beyond mortified, and I truly apologize. Only Allah knows that wasn’t my intention.

Islam is the true reflection of humility, compassion, peace and love. As much as I respect veiled women, as much as it would break my heart to see them looking down on others who chose to take it off or not put it on. My own sister and many of my best friends aren’t wearing the Hijab, yet they probably do more good than I do. We are all slaves of the Great Lord, and none of us is perfect.

“O you who have believed, let not a people ridicule [another] people; perhaps they may be better than them; nor let women ridicule [other] women; perhaps they may be better than them……” (Surat Al-Ĥujurāt, Verse 11, Holy Qur’an)


Confusion Is Messing Us Up!

“OBJECTION! Your honor she’s obviously swaying from the main subject. The issue of Hijab is argued to be debatable and Ms. Mohsen is still assuming her opinion of it being an obligation is the definite one! She even had the audacity to call any other view ‘nauseating’ ” The Prosecutor turns red with anger at this point. “She’s interpreting the Holy Qur’an according to her own understanding! Why isn’t she giving uncovered women the same rights to interpret it differently?”

Why is my lawyer silent? Like HELLO! Say something!
She’s disappointed at my choice of words, isn’t she? I described the act of women spreading their doubts about Hijab as ‘appalling’ and ‘absurd’… Yes that wasn’t very nice. My mom was disappointed too! Well, that just proves my point that none of us is perfect. I admit I should have been more eloquent in expressing my disagreement. Now please allow me to elaborate on why I disagree in a more logical way.

Okay. So you’re on a plane and the flight attendant says “Ladies and gentlemen, please contact the airline manufacturing department to provide you with seatbelts, and once they’re delivered, please fasten them so we can finally take off!”

No that’s not what happens, simply because the seatbelts are already there, you just need to fasten them, that’s it, right?

What about the head covers? Allah did NOT say “Oh Mohamed, tell the women to go buy a piece of cloth, and call it a headscarf, veil, khimar or hijab and then cover their hair and necks with it.” No that’s not what happened either, simply because women at that time already wore head covers, they were just asked to wrap them tightly so their ears, necks and chests don’t show. No wonder there were no riots or debates about the obligation of wearing the hijab at that time.

“And tell the believing women to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts and not expose their adornment except that which [necessarily] appears thereof and to wrap [a portion of] their head covers over their chests and not expose their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers, their brothers’ sons, their sisters’ sons, their women, that which their right hands possess, or those male attendants having no physical desire, or children who are not yet aware of the private aspects of women….”. (Surat An-Nūr, 24:31, Holy Qur’an)

To those who argue that Hijab isn’t an Islamic obligation and that I’m only sharing my personal understanding of the Qur’an, the above verses are not my words, they’re Allah Almighty’s words, and they’re pretty straight forward. It is for this very same reason that females cover their hair and bodies when they pray, even though it’s not mentioned anywhere in the Holy Qur’an. That is basically because proper Hijab is our Islamic attire till this day, and it wasn’t just bounded to the times of the blessed Prophet (PBUH). Why else would God explain in details the specific men we are allowed to show our adornment to, if everyone is allowed to see us with no head covers to begin with?

One of the greatest trials we are facing in the modern world are the alterations of certain matters in Islam into uncertain ones. Some skeptics explain that Riba is lawful and that drinking certain kinds of alcohol is permissible and that Hijab is not at all an obligation. Of course we are all allowed the freedom of speech, but it’s the confusion that is messing us up, and it’s somehow making Muslims abide by the beliefs that are convenient to their lives only. If uncovered women are okay with standing before Almighty Allah on the Day of Judgment and testifying they’re not convinced of Hijab, then by all means let them share their doubts and I’ll stay out of it! (Hey, where’s my mute button?)


Are You Up For A Big Surprise?

Time to blow this story wide-open girls! Because it’s not only in Islam that women are required to cover up. It’s also in all the Holy Books.
“Excuse me Miss. Do you have a copy of the Holy Bible? Yes there it is!”

“For if a woman will not veil herself, then she should cut off her hair; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off or to be shaved, she should wear a veil. For a man ought not to have his head veiled, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man” (Corinthians 11:6-7, Holy Bible) 

In Judaism, head or hair covering is known as ‘Kisui rosh’. It’s mentioned in the Torah. In fact, some interpretations of the verses explain it as form of adultery for women not to cover their hair.

…”then, that head or hair covering was law for the daughters of Israel” (Sifrei Bamidbar 11)
So I’m ‘Uncovered’! Shoot Me!

I’m not here to defend the women who took off their headscarves, but certainly no one is allowed to shoot them down either! It’s our obligation to remind ourselves and others to do the right thing, and it’s also our choice to take the advice or leave it. Again it’s not the veil, it’s the ‘Taqwa’, faith and good manners that count the most. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) sums it up beautifully in one of his hadiths…

Abu Hurayra said, “The Prophet (PBUH) was asked,
“Messenger of Allah! A certain woman prays in the night, fasts in the day, acts and gives ‘sadaqa’ (charity), but injures her neighbors with her tongue.”

The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, ‘There is no good in her. She is one of the people of the Fire.”

They said, “Another woman prays the prescribed prayers and gives bits of curd as sadaqa and does not injure anyone.”

The Messenger of Allah, (PBUH) said, ‘She is one of the people of the Garden.’” (Sahih (Al-Albani) Al Adab Al Mufrad 119)

I know non-Hijabi women who spend their time helping the needy and memorizing the Qur’an, and other Hijabis who wear skin-tight outfits and are the biggest gossipmongers ever! Some women posted comments saying they took off their Hijab because they’re being assaulted by non-Muslims in the West. I honestly understand their fear, and only God knows what they’re going through to hold on to their Islam. It’s time we face the ultimate truth, we are not here to judge. we are all only here to worship the Great Lord and help each other stay on the right track.

If we were all sentenced because of our personal choices, then there wouldn’t be not one innocent human being living on this planet. I remind myself before anyone else that I’m a weak sinner. The temptations of this world get to us, and God knows we are only human. We silence that voice inside reminding us of the Hereafter because it’s so difficult to resist our cravings. It’s beyond difficult! We don’t wanna be reminded to eat healthy while we’re enjoying a delicious Nutella covered piece of cake. We don’t wanna think of Judgment Day when we wear tight or revealing dresses and get showered with compliments and admiring looks. We just wanna scream at the top of our lungs ‘STOP! Stop telling me I don’t pray enough or I should read more Qur’an! Stop reminding me of my shortcomings! Don’t you think they’re already killing me?!”

Every person giving you advice is already struggling with a sin of his or her own to start with. We are all scared and insecure. But what else can we do except be there for each other…? The wrong has become so common; it’s a miracle some people are still holding on to what’s right…. It’s at times like this that I need you and you need me….

To all our readers, in this trial I ask you to be the jury coming up with the final verdict. I hope you’ll speak your mind and tell the rest of us how you truly feel…. And may the ones who judge you for your honesty be silenced.

And to my dearest Allah, the Most Merciful Lord, I’m down on my knees asking Your forgiveness… If my writing has hurt any of Your slaves or has pushed women away instead of bringing them closer to You, then it’s my fault not theirs. I plead guilty and I hope you’ll pardon me for not delivering the message in a way that touches people’s hearts. Islam is perfect but we aren’t, and only You know how imperfect and flawed I am, so please help me… and help us…

Because without Your guidance we are all….

Nothing at all….


Lily S. Mohsen


Lilly S. Mohsen is the author of "Live Your Story' and 'The Prophets To Islam' Series for children. Lilly is a part-time therapist and a spiritual speaker. She’s currently pursuing another Diploma in Islamic Psychology and is a contributing writer to a number of educational and Inspirational blogs.

'Uncovered Too – Women Who Took Off The Hijab Speak Out!' have 48 comments

  1. March 9, 2015 @ 11:01 am Julia

    I admired the way you dealt with this article. A job well done Lulls!


    • March 11, 2015 @ 4:46 pm Lilly S. Mohsen

      My soulmate… Always by my side to support and encourage me. I’m blessed to have you in my life Julia ❤️


  2. March 9, 2015 @ 9:35 pm Marwa

    i couldn’t stop laughing. I love how you aknowledge both without judging.


  3. March 9, 2015 @ 9:36 pm Rania

    We all do wrong tnx for not judging


    • March 11, 2015 @ 4:51 pm Lilly S. Mohsen

      Exactly! Who are we to judge? No one knows what’s in our hearts but God Almighty.
      Thank you for your comment Rania


  4. March 9, 2015 @ 9:38 pm Samia

    Whoa, Very nice written Lilly. Keep em’ coming.


    • March 11, 2015 @ 4:53 pm Lilly S. Mohsen

      Thanks Samia! Keep reading though… It’s people like you that keep us inspired


  5. March 10, 2015 @ 8:19 am Nermeen

    Thanks Lilly for not judging


    • March 11, 2015 @ 4:55 pm Lilly S. Mohsen

      And thank you Nermeen for giving me another chance. God knows I’m the last person in a position to judge anyone at all!


  6. March 10, 2015 @ 8:22 am Aisha

    We must remember that hijab is an obligation that Allaah has enjoined on the Muslim woman, which is proven in the Qur’aan and the saheeh Sunnah, and the ummah is agreed upon it despite the differences in their madhhabs and schools of thought. No madhhab has deviated from this view, and no faqeeh has gone against it, and this is what the practice of the ummah has been throughout the centuries. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

    “O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies (i.e. screen themselves completely except the eyes or one eye to see the way). That will be better, that they should be known (as free respectable women) so as not to be annoyed. And Allaah is Ever Oft‑Forgiving, Most Merciful”
    [al-Ahzaab 33:59]
    “and to draw their veils all over Juyoobihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms) and not to reveal their adornment”

    [al-Noor 24:31]


    • March 11, 2015 @ 5:00 pm Lilly S. Mohsen

      I’m right there with you Aisha. I have no doubt Hijab is an obligation in Islam, even though some scholars here in Egypt are debating with that. The sole reason behind this article was to apologize to those whose feelings have been hurt by my choice of words. No one is perfect… And may God help us to obey Him and become better Muslims and help one another inshAllah


  7. March 10, 2015 @ 8:25 am Lila

    Hijab is not a piece of cloth on your head. It’s a way of life.


  8. March 10, 2015 @ 8:30 am Rhonda

    My journey towards hijab began when I finally moved past all my agnostic swinging of, “Yes I believe”, “No I don’t” and then back again. The eureka moment came, funnily enough, when reading about the depiction of embryology in the Qur’an. The Arabic word used to describe the embryo in its early stages is ‘alaqah’, meaning a leech like clot. Scientific advances now illustrate how the embryo initially does indeed act like a leech, clinging to the mother’s uterus and obtaining nutrients from her blood. From this revelation I made the jump to the hijab.
    Thanks again Lilly for a lovely article!


    • March 12, 2015 @ 9:47 am Lilly S. Mohsen

      It’s amazing how the Holy Qur’an has all the answers we need. But it’s with Allah’s will and blessings that we are guided to see and learn the truth…
      May you always be guided and blessed with His mercy Rhonda…. Your story is a true and beautiful inspiration


  9. March 10, 2015 @ 8:35 am Osman

    As a Muslim husband, I have left my wife to decide for herself what to wear or not. We are both agreed that apparel does not have any religious significance in normal daily interactions. I believe that my religion is my private affair and am careful of respecting the feelings of others.
    Last week, I watched a local march where women dressed up in tight mini-skirts to proclaim that everyone has a right to wear what they want and they should not be discriminated against because of their choices. The Burqa and other dresses are the other side of that same coin. People should be free to wear or not wear what they want.


    • March 12, 2015 @ 10:06 am Lilly S. Mohsen

      Thank you Osman for sharing your personal view in this “judgment-free” zone.
      Now please allow me to share mine:
      Looking at Islamic obligations from the outside might seem to some people as suppressive and perhaps irrelevant to “daily interactions”, and I believe it’s the essence of being open minded that we dig deeper and find out why God put these rules. I did that, and the more I researched the more I fell in love with Islam and the more I saw and felt how God put these rules out of love and care for us. Islam is not just a religion we practice privately… It’s a beautiful and blessed way of life….


  10. March 10, 2015 @ 8:18 pm Raghda

    I’m a huge fan!!!! Love your style of writing! Everything is perfectly said! Unfortunately we sometimes judge others to get some sort of satisfaction. I once read “don’t judge someone just because they sin differently than you.” We all sin differently but we must acknowledge our sin and repent rather than making excuses to feel better about ourselves.


    • March 12, 2015 @ 10:11 am Lilly S. Mohsen

      You had me at “huge fan” hhhhhh
      Imagine a world with people who understand and support each other… Who guide one another with soft love and tender hearts and lift each other up whenever someone falls….
      In other words… Imagine the world with more people like you Raghda…. That’s the kind of world I would love to live in….


  11. March 11, 2015 @ 10:19 am Mona

    People like u make us women stop justifying our mistakes. U are the rare gem Lily


    • March 12, 2015 @ 10:15 am Lilly S. Mohsen

      I’m speechless Mona….
      All I know is that it’s only those with soft pure hearts like yours who can see the beauty in others…


  12. March 11, 2015 @ 10:23 am Janet

    Tic tac toe……Lilly knows that nobody is suppose to judge. Bravo 3ala samaky Ya helwa. Love ur writtings kiteeeeeeeer


    • March 12, 2015 @ 10:20 am Lilly S. Mohsen

      Khajalty el Sama taba3y bi Hal Kalam el helw


    • March 12, 2015 @ 10:26 am Lilly S. Mohsen

      Your lovely words brought me a world of happiness… Thank you so much Janet


  13. March 11, 2015 @ 10:31 am Nahid

    As a covered woman living in the west I truly understand the challenges that all of you are facing. It’s hard. And it’s overwhelming. I see the way people look at me in school, on the bus, at the store, and everywhere else I go. All of this can affect our psyche and test our beliefs in so many ways. But let me remind you that….. it’s supposed to be hard. Things of value are always surrounded by hardships and difficulties. …..Paradise is a thing of value…. When my Iman is low and I’ve been neglecting my Salah, my relationship with the Qur’an, and if I’m spending a lot of time with non practicing friends I begin to perform my duties half heartedly. And Shaytan is always on the lookout ready to pounce. So, my lovely sisters, whenever you’re having doubts in your faith ask yourself these three questions….Am I performing my Salah as I should? How is my relationship with the Qur’an, and who are my friends?


  14. March 11, 2015 @ 10:38 am Samia

    I come from a religious conservative family. Not extremists but conservatively religious. My dad is an imam. I wore the hijab at the age of nine. My choice then. Back in Beirut the school I attended supported hijab. My father’s family were against the idea and voiced their concern. A year later we immigrated to Toronto. Here the struggle begins. I was always the only one in school in the 1980s with a hijab on. In elementary and secondary schools I was picked on, bullied, and made fun of. It made my shy personality even more withdrawn. However, I had very strong supportive family who always reminded that my wearing the hijab is pleasing to Allah SWT and that was my comfort. That no sacrifice will go unrewarded. As a teenager I watched my friends put their makeup on and get their hair done before going to a party or outing. Mentally at times I wished I could do the same and imagined what it would be like. I watched some other friends wear the hijab and take it off due to struggles. I couldn’t do it. I always thought and believed Allah would be disappointed in me. Now in my 40 s even with more hijabis around me , and in a very accepting society I still wonder if I didn’t wear the hijab would people treat me differently? Maybe . But ultimately it’s about what I want and who I want to be and what I truly believe. At work I feel respected by my fellow male colleagues. Hijab has added to my character. My daughter is now a teenager, we talk about her wearing the hijab. I want her to do it. But she needs to wear it for the right reasons. She must have the conviction and will power. I hope she will one day. Hijab has been and blessing and a struggle. But a blessing nonetheless. For that I am grateful.


    • March 12, 2015 @ 10:40 am Lilly S. Mohsen

      If that’s not strength I don’t know what is!
      All my love and respect to you and your beautiful family Samia…
      Thank you for sharing the ups and downs we all go through. May your daughter make you proud the same way you make us all proud…


  15. March 11, 2015 @ 10:39 am Zeinab

    Iam a revert into Islam my family dnt accept me being a Muslim I have wore hijab but taken it off. This time I have decided to wear it again but not for anyone else but allah and only him. Hijab for me is the hardest thing to do as it makes a statement which love but hate tooo. I feel I have cone to a point where I surrender my demeans to allah and ask for his guidence and support. If we take one step towards allah he will take 20for us. Things get better wen we do things for the love of allah. The Satan will always be there stopping u to progress in ur deen.


    • March 12, 2015 @ 11:03 am Lilly S. Mohsen

      I feel your struggle Zeinab and in my heart I know God will open a gate of happiness and peace to reward you for your inspiring patience inshAllah. All our love and admiration to your beautiful soul


  16. March 11, 2015 @ 10:41 am Amnie

    Please help me! I’m 17 years old and I wore the Hijab 4 years ago. My mum told me that if I wear the Hijab she will buy me whatever I want etc … And if I don’t she will be really mad at me. At that age all I wanted was to be my mum’s favorite because whatever I do for her doesn’t make her happy so I said to my self why not ! If that could make her happy I’ll wear the HijabAnd I started praying and everything not for Allah but for my mum because she keeps yelling at me . I didn’t had struggles with my friends or meeting new people or anything but now All I want is taking it off because it doesn’t represent who I am ! The scarf that i’m wearing do NOT represent who I really Am ! I’ve spoke with my mum about that and she said if I take the hijab off it’s like I’m killing her with my own hands ! I Truly need your help.


    • March 12, 2015 @ 11:21 am Lilly S. Mohsen

      Amnie I must admit you’re a wonderful daughter. I love how you’re striving to please your mom and I’m sure when the time comes inshAllah your daughter will do the same.
      I understand your frustration and I know you must be in a lot of emotional pain right now. I think you need to think of how you truly feel about wearing the hijab. Do you agree it’s an Islamic obligation? If you do, and seeing how much you love pleasing your mom, then I’m sure you’ll find pleasing Allah much more important and rewarding. Maybe you wore it for the wrong reason, but now you’re old enough to know that your mom wants the best for you. If she yells and gets mad it’s only coz she loves you so much honey! Wearing the Hijab and resenting yourself and your mom for it will only make your life harder. Taking it off and knowing it will make your mom heartbroken and also displease Allah will have the same effect trust me! You won’t have that inner peace. I think you need to make your own decision and find out why Muslim women wear the hijab and be totally convinced… God is so Loving and Merciful sweetheart. He doesn’t want us to suffer. Ask Him to guide you and make things easier. I swear He listens… Just be patient…
      And if you’re still frustrated after all of that then no one can force you to do anything you don’t wanna do. I’m honored you sought my advice and I’m here for you if you need support. You can contact me personally if you wanna talk about it some more or just steam out : )


  17. March 16, 2015 @ 2:09 pm Doaa

    And here comes Lilly to wow us again!! Keep shining my love.. God bless you..


  18. March 17, 2015 @ 6:52 am Heba Moussa

    Well, you amazed me with your eloquence in the previous articles… But this time- jaw-dropping! You managed to make everything crystal clear and still make me crack up while reading it! Please keep them coming, and speaking for myself- Your words give me faith and inspiration!
    There is nothing more beautiful than learning from Allah and our beloved prophet Muhammad (PBUH) the art of mercifulness. No judging, no criticizing, just love.
    And with love, inshAllah our lives transform!
    Lily I REALLY hope those who misunderstood your words read this cuz I’m sure it’ll put a smile on their face :)


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