A Letter To The Culture That Raised Me & Yetiştiğim Kültüre Açık Mektup & Yasmin Mogahed

Growing up, you read me the Ugly Duckling. And for years I believed that was me. For so long you taught me I was nothing more than a bad copy of the standard (men).

I couldn’t run as fast or lift as much. I didn’t make the same money and I cried too often. I grew up in a man’s world where I didn’t belong.

And when I couldn’t be him, I wanted only to please him. I put on your make-up and wore your short skirts. I gave my life, my body, my dignity, for the cause of being pretty. I knew that no matter what I did, I was worthy only to the degree that I could please and be beautiful for my master. And so I spent my life on the cover of Cosmo and gave my body for you to sell.

I was a slave, but you taught me I was free. I was your object, but you swore it was success. You taught me that my purpose in life was to be on display, to attract, and be beautiful for men. You had me believe that my body was created to market your cars. And you raised me to think I was an ugly duckling. But you lied.

Islam tells me, I’m a swan. I’m different – it’s meant to be that way. And my body, my soul, was created for something more.
God says in the Qur’an, “O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.” (49:13)

So I am honored. But it is not by my relationship to men. My value as a woman is not measured by the size of my waist or the number of men who like me. My worth as a human being is measured on a higher scale: a scale of righteousness and piety. And my purpose in life – despite what the fashion magazines say – is something more sublime than just looking good for men.

And so God tells me to cover myself, to hide my beauty and to tell the world that I’m not here to please men with my body; I’m here to please God. God elevates the dignity of a woman’s body by commanding that it be respected and covered, shown only to the deserving – only to the man I marry.

So to those who wish to ‘liberate’ me, I have only one thing to say: “Thanks, but no thanks.”

I’m not here to be on display. And my body is not for public consumption. I will not be reduced to an object, or a pair of legs to sell shoes. I’m a soul, a mind, a servant of God. My worth is defined by the beauty of my soul, my heart, my moral character. So, I won’t worship your beauty standards, and I don’t submit to your fashion sense. My submission is to something higher.

With my veil I put my faith on display – rather than my beauty. My value as a human is defined by my relationship with God, not by my looks. I cover the irrelevant. And when you look at me, you don’t see a body. You view me only for what I am: a servant of my Creator.

You see, as a Muslim woman, I’ve been liberated from a silent kind of bondage. I don’t answer to the slaves of God on earth. I answer to their King.

Küçükken bana Çirkin Ördek Yavrusu’nu okudunuz. Yıllarca onun ben olduğuma inandım. Nice zamanlar bana standardın (yani erkeklerin) kötü bir kopyasından başka bir şey olmadığımı kanıksattınız.

Onlar kadar hızlı koşamadım, ağır kaldıramadım. Onlar kadar para kazanamadım, sık sık ağlamadan edemedim. Ait olmadığım bir erkekler-dünyasında büyüdüm.

Ve madem ki bir erkek olamıyorum, o zaman sırf onu memnun etmek istedim. Makyaj yapıp kısa etekler giydim. Hayatımı, bedenimi, onurumu güzel olma uğruna feda ettim. Biliyordum ki her ne yaparsam yapayım, ancak efendime güzel görünüp onu hoşnut ettiğim ölçüde değerim olacaktı. Böylece hayatımı Cosmo dergisi kapağında geçirdim ve bedenimi satışa sundum.

Bir köleydim, fakat beni özgür olduğuma inandırdınız. Sizin bir nesnenizdim, fakat bunun bir marifet olduğuna yemin ettiniz. Hayatımın amacının göz önünde olmak, ilgi çekmek ve erkekler için güzel görünmek olduğunu öğrettiniz. Bedenimin, arabalarınızı pazarlamam için yaratıldığına beni inandırdınız. Ve beni bir çirkin ördek yavrusu olduğumu düşündürerek büyüttünüz. Fakat yalandı söyledikleriniz.

İslam der ki, ben bir kuğuyum. Farklıyım ve öyle de olmak zorunda. Bedenim, ruhum, hep daha ötesi için yaratılmış.

Allah Kur’an’da, “Ey insanlar! Doğrusu biz sizi bir erkekle bir dişiden yarattık. Ve birbirinizle tanışmanız için sizi kavimlere ve kabilelere ayırdık. Muhakkak ki Allah yanında en değerli olanınız, O’ndan en çok korkanınızdır. Şüphesiz Allah bilendir, her şeyden haberdardır.” (49:13) der.

Demek ki ben onurluyum. Ama erkeklerle ilişkim oranında değil. Bir kadın olarak değerim, belimin ölçüsü veya beni beğenen erkek sayısına göre belirlenmiyor. Bir insan olarak kıymetim daha üst bir ölçeğe tabi: doğruluk ve takva ölçeğine. Ve hayattaki gayem –moda dergileri farklı da söylese- erkeklere güzel görünmekten daha yüce bir şey.

Allah bana örtünmemi, güzelliğimi saklamamı ve tüm dünyaya, buraya bedenimle erkekleri hoşnut etmek için gelmediğimi haykırmamı söylüyor. Ben Allah’ın hoşnutluğunu kazanmak için buradayım. Allah, saygı gösterilip örtülmesini, yalnızca evlenilen insana gösterilmesini emrederek, kadın bedeninin saygınlığını yüceltiyor.

Yani beni ‘özgürleştirmek’ isteyenlere söyleyebileceğim tek bir şey var: “Teşekkürler, ama almayayım.”

Ben sergilenmek için burada değilim. Vücudum kamu tüketimine tahsis edilmiş değil. Bir nesneye, ayakkabı satışlarını artıracak bir çift bacağa indirgenecek değilim. Bir ruh’um ben; bir akıl, Allah’a bir kul… Değerim kalbimin, ruhumun güzelliğine, ahlakî karakterime göre belirlenir. Kısacası, sizin güzellik standartlarınıza boyun eğmeyeceğim. Sizin moda anlayışınıza teslim olmayacağım. Benim teslimiyetim daha yüce bir Varlık için.

Tesettürümle ben imanımı ortaya koyuyorum, güzelliğimden ziyade. Zira insan olarak değerim Allah’la olan irtibatıma göredir, nasıl göründüğüme göre değil. Ve bana baktığınızda beni bir beden olarak görmüyorsunuz. Beni ancak neysem öyle görüyorsunuz: Yaratıcısına bir kul olarak.

Gördüğünüz gibi, Müslüman bir kadın olarak ben sessiz bir tür boyunduruktan kurtulmuş bulunuyorum. Allah’ın yeryüzündeki kullarına hesap vermem; Onların Hükümdarına hesap veririm.

Reklamlar

30 Yanıt to “A Letter To The Culture That Raised Me & Yetiştiğim Kültüre Açık Mektup & Yasmin Mogahed”

  1. Reblogged this on A Call to Witness and commented:
    We must listen to all viewpoints and not be so critical. Stop judging and stop putting our morals, values and standards on others. This point gives a critical understanding of the veil and the hijab from a Muslim Woman’s viewpoint. As a Christian Woman I must agree that I would rather be viewed as a servant of God than an object. I support my Hijabi Sisters. God Bless.

    • Thank you my dear sister 🌹❤️

      • You’re Welcome. The post made good sense. We all need to be more accepting of various races, cultures and religions. I get along with my Muslim co-workers and neighbors. Some wear the hijab and others don’t. It is an individual expression of Faith and I respect the choice. Plus I’ve seen some very beautiful hijabs, veils and head wraps. Thanks to your blog I have learned more about Islam. I think Christians and Muslims have more in common than difference. May there be peace among all peoples of all faiths. God Bless Dear Sister.

  2. I do have one question. If a Muslim Woman has a child or sibling who is deaf and reads lips can they remove their veil so the child/sibling can read their lips or does the entire family use sign language? Thanks.

    • 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 headcovers 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. And let them not stamp their feet to make known what they conceal of their adornment. And turn to Allah in repentance, all of you, O believers, that you might succeed.

      Surah An-Nur [24:31] – Al-Qur’an al-Kareem
      🙂

  3. Okay. I get it. Yes because God is merciful it would be okay to move the veil if you are interacting with a deaf person. Makes sense. Especially when you have to engage with the outside world. Schools. Jobs. House of Worship.

    Because I work as a Museum Security guard and when I worked days very often veiled Muslim Ladies would approach me for directions or other information. On the other hand I guess they felt more comfortable asking a Woman Security guard questions than a male security. I was glad to be able to help.

    At my workplace I’ve always done my best to treat everyone the same. My museum also gets Nuns as visitors and their habits (special clothing) covers them from head to foot except their faces. Most Christians accept that Catholic Nuns cover their bodies so I don’t know why they think that hijabs are strange. Only thing is the Nuns remain celibate and in service to God and their communities.

  4. Excellent words expressing powerful truths. I believe many men appreciate the modesty of Muslim women. A blessing for certain.

  5. What a beautiful elucidation of a very misunderstood cultural and spiritual — and personal — decision. Fantastic!

  6. True. But in Islam and in Judaism, a woman is not equal to a man. Only men are required to go to temple. Only Abraham’s sons are counted, daughters are not mentioned in the Bible. The supposed liberation of women, you would think, should be more than just a fashion statement.

    • Islam gives permission for a woman to enter the Mosque .But there are separate and equal facilities ..We do not believe in intermingling of sexes. Why we do not believe… If we have intermingling of sexes…and as we know what happens in the other Religious places – People come more for to Eve teasing and bird watching, than to pray. Therefore, Islam does not believe in intermingling of sexes.There are separate entrances for man and woman, separate places of ‘Wuduh’, ablution, for man and woman. Man and woman are made to stand separately, and a woman cannot stand in the front, because… because if a woman stands in front, but natural the man behind will be disturbed. In Islam when we pray, we stand shoulder to shoulder – And the medical doctors, they tell us that… ‘The female has 1 degree higher… one degree higher temperature.’ If you have a lady next to you, you will feel warm and soft – Instead of concentrating… instead of concentrating on Allah, you concentrate on the lady. That is why in Islam, the women have to stand behind.

      Thank you!

  7. Your devotion has always made you shine my beautiful friend. ❤

  8. Excellent use of the Ugly Duckling story as a springboard

  9. Ciao mia cara Amica!
    Buona Santa Domenica🌺🌷🌺
    Carmeℒa💝

  10. A great indictment to the vanity of humankind.

  11. Every makeup has an ugliness under it. Ugliness is either visual or intrinsic. Aesthetics includes feelings rather than forms. The West says “If it is beautiful, you love it”. The East says “If you love it, it is beautiful”. Beauty does not need any ad. Seek beauty in who sees it, not who appears beautiful.

    Her makyajın altında bir çirkinlik yatar. Çirkinlik ya görseldir ya da içsel. Estetik, şekilden ziyade hissi barındırır. Batı, “Güzelse seversin.” der; Doğu, “Seversen güzeldir.” der. Güzellik, ilâna ihtiyaç duymaz. Güzelliği, görünende değil, görende ara.

  12. So why are so many women repressed and held in such low regard is parts of Islamic world ? Some won’t even let women go to school.

  13. İyi ve gururla konuşulur.

  14. I don’t know why everyone has become enemy of muslim. But i believe Allah is the most powerful.
    Well…..your work is awesome!

  15. Hi! Love your blog your writing is lovely! I would loveee if you get a chance to check mine out? Feedback would be awesome! 🙂
    https://weenotions.wordpress.com/2017/09/02/doom-gloom/

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