Having grown up in America, they shove this upon me in addition to fasting, praying 5 times daily, and throwing all my "haram" clothes away.
I'm sick of this, and I want to take control of my life. Any help?
In this counseling answer:
•Your parents are trying to fulfill their duties and responsibilities to you, which they had allowed to slip.
•Wearing hijab puts focus on you as a person, a person with thoughts, opinions, and feelings.
•Praying 5 times a day helps to set up a challenge, the challenge being that you are more than mere looks, and that being has been blessed with a physical, emotional, and mental body that is generated by the gift of the spirit, a present from Allah (SWT).
•Honor yourself my daughter, and in doing so honor your parent, your Creator, and have a good life!
As salamu `alaykum,
Thank you for sharing with us the predicament you find yourself in.
At this point in your life, it probably seems all so unfair, and that your parents are being downright unreasonable.
Here you, in the middle of your teens, no longer a child, with adulthood knocking at your door, at least that is what the society you grew up has told you through its powerful media. At your age, other girls are able to do all manner of things, because they have “reasonable” parents who are “cool” about such things.
So why should you be the exception? Maybe this is the question stuck in your mind, as well as “Why now, when they never raised me that way?” Sometimes as a parent, we make decisions without realizing that every decision has a price.
That price was raising you in a country without knowing or understanding the dynamics at play socially, and that these social dynamics are more powerful than parents.
When parents are busy providing for the family, we do not consider how much time one’s child will spend under the influence of social factors unfamiliar to the parents.
From where you are coming from, you are the best judge for what is best for you. You do not have the advantage of the life experience of your parents, and neither are you able to appreciate that experience because you just simply are not listening! How can you listen when your hormonal changes of adolescence are in the driving seat of your emotions, telling you that everything you feel is valid!
Right now, you are probably thinking that you are in control, and your current developmental stage has nothing to do with it – but it has everything to do with it unknown to you.
You are discovering your likes, dislikes, and have developed strong passionate opinions that are not ready to hear anything different or to have your lifestyle compromised. So what’ the deal!
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The deal is, you are no longer in the country in which you were raised. You are in an entirely different country with values that are probably closer to those of your parents, but further away from the value system that you have become familiar with.
You are not quite a child, but neither are you an adult according to the western value system, which just adds more confusion. Traditionally, that confusing period of adolescence did not exist, in fact, it is an invention of modernity.
Traditionally, you were either a child, or an adult, and a child did childish things, and adults had adult responsibilities. However here you are with neither – that is progress for you!
Your parents are trying to fulfill their duties and responsibilities to you, which they had allowed to slip. If you were raised praying 5 times a day and wearing hijab from the age of 9, you would not be having this dilemma, beyond the usual dilemma of being a teenage girl who wants to be attractive to boys.
You would have been more emotionally ready for adulthood, and you would have been more likely to see your body. mind, and soul as special as opposed to only seeing you as a tool of pleasure.
There is nothing special about seeing your body as a tool of pleasure, instead, you just become like all the other girls who think and act as a pleasure machine whether on the silver screen or on the streets.
You will be leered at, ogled at, and have derogatory comments made at and about you; and more than likely some boy or man will want to flirt with you, and touch you. All in all, while your parents see you as special, and Islam sees you as special you, the boys, and men will not.
Wearing a hijab puts focus on you as a person, a person with thoughts, opinions, and feelings. Praying 5 times a day helps to set up a challenge, the challenge being that you are more than mere looks, and that being has been blessed with a physical, emotional, and mental body that is generated by the gift of spirit, a present from Allah (SWT), who remembers that they have a special relationship with their Creator.
This wanting more than to look good, feel good, to have nice things, and to be looked at., because this being, YOU wants more out of life than to be seen as a thing, that wants things.
It all might seem as too much to take on right now, but my dear daughter, you have to realize one thing, this is a phase.
When you get to the other end of this path that you are walking on, you will turn around, look back, and discover that you do not like yourself very much, have a strong feeling of emptiness, or that you are worth more than this path you have trodden on.
Honor yourself my daughter, and in doing so honor your parent, your Creator, and have a good life!
Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.