Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Writing a novel about a Muslim superhero

Young superheroesHello. My name is Kendra, and I am working on a novel, where one character, who I have tentatively dubbed Tazara Issa, is a devout girl who practices Islam. As an agnostic, I want to do my best to ensure that this character is respectful, accurate...and a real character, above all.

My novel revolves around a superhero/fantasy theme, where certain characters in Canada, all rather young, begin to gain powers, at the same time evil creatures of myth begin to return to the world. Five of these characters feel it to be their duty to protect people, including Tazara.

However, I want Tazara to wear the hijab, and I want her to be conflicted by not being able to wear it. (It keeps be destroyed, lost, makes her stand out when trying to blend into a crowd, etc.) And she will eventually come to the point of realizing she cannot wear it.

My question is, does it make sense for her to cut off her prized, lovely hair, when faced with not wearing the hijab in public? My personal reasoning is that, since the primary objective of the hijab is modesty, her sacrificing her hair and thusly making herself uglier, or unfeminine, would at least help her feel better about her own choice.

I don't want what an imam would say about this, or what a learned scholar would. Tazara is a sixteen year old who cannot ask anyone's advice about this, since she cannot explain her reasoning. I just want to make sure that there is reasoning that an average young woman of the Islam faith could follow and agree with, that there is some reliable basis in the faith for this decision.

And if anyone would find it in their hearts to give me any other advice about certain small tics a moderate, devout Islamic girl would have in her behaviour that someone outside of the culture might not be aware of? Perhaps advice on how she might handle interacting with the two boys she works with in order to protect people with the gift that she will see as coming from Allah?

There are many nationalities in my story, and I am doing my best to have a fair and accurate portrayal of them all, from reading the Qur'an, to learning the Cree alphabet, and a bit of their language.

- Kendra

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  1. Hi Kendra,

    I started wearing my hijaab 10 years ago.

    For most of my pre-hijab years, I tied my hair back and never styled it unless I was at home. My father had made us understand that he preferred us to wear hijaab, but if we were not wearing it we should still be modest in the way we dressed and wore our hair. I did leave my hair down for a few years, but that was after my father passed away. But now, with experience and wisdom, I completely understanding the logic behind the requirements of modesty. I feel the same for my nieces as my father felt for me.

    So, to answer your question, a young muslim who had adopted hijaab would not compromise her hijaab for anything, unless she had started becoming distant from her faith. As for shavin her head to make her look unfeminine and ugly, this is not the purpose of hijab, so shaving ones hair and deliberately looking ugly would not substitute for hijaab. By shaving her hair etc, she would end up resembling a man, this is forbidden in Islam as a woman is encouraged to beautify herself. Wearing hijaab makes a woman more deeply in touch with her femininity and beauty. She still enjoys styling her hair, only she does not let every man have his fill of gazing at her. She is like a beautiful pearl protected inside a shell.

    Her mixing with men other than her brothers, nephews, father, 1st uncles, husband, would be a limited. She would lower her gaze, speak with them in kindness but firmly. She would never be alone with them and she would never touch them.

    So although you want your character to play a strong Muslim, I do not see how this is possible if she decides to remove her hijab in order to be able to protect people. A strong Muslim wouldnt compromise her religion as she would know that Allah is the All Mighty, the One who Protects all his creation.

    Maybe you could adapt your storyline a little to show the hijaab in a positive light :0).

    Sorry I couldnt be more helpful, but thank you for writing to this website for your research :0)

    SisterZ, Editor

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