Monday, 12 November 2012

Sexual Sin and the Hijab

My first real reason to live came sometime between the ages of 

nine and 11. I was searching the Internet for a Calgary Flames

website. What I found were the most beautiful images I had ever 

seen. “Hot Naked Girls!” What kind of wondrous and magical 

creatures were these? I found myself clicking link after link after 

link. I eagerly anticipated the next Goddess. The naked lady, as if 

overnight, became the reason to wake up in the morning.

It took a few years for me to realize some of the problems that 

came with my newfound inspiration for life. Real ladies are not 

objects on computer screens. They had thoughts and

feelings. After many years of anguish and unfair expectations,

my path toward inhuman behaviour continued. In my first year at

University I would walk into the college pub and would have every

girl in the place rated in my mind from one to 10.

The most powerful conviction I have had of my destructive 

behaviour came 3 years ago in a paradoxical moment of depravity, 

forgiveness, and joy. An attractive Muslim student was given the 

opportunity to speak at an interfaith event hosted by the Multi-

Faith Chaplaincy at my campus. While she had not been raised in a 

serious Muslim home, she felt inspired to take her faith to a 

deeper level. One of the topics brought up was the Hijab — the 

modest covering of the head and body — and her experience with 

wearing it.

As an attractive woman she had often received attention based on 

surface level attraction. But anyone who was in the room that day 

will tell you she had far more to offer than just her looks. By wear- 

ing the Hijab she became well respected for her mind. She was no 

longer being looked at as an object.

I have no specific opinion on the Hijab, but the guilt I felt from her 

words rushed over me. How many potentially deep relationships 

had I lost because of lust? How many people had I hurt? At the 

same time I became thankful. I was thankful for the close female 

friendships I had developed, despite my lust. Thankful for their 

ability to look beyond the surface, and see the human being that 

still remained. Thankful for the forgiveness all of us will need at 

one point or another.

Further conviction came a few days later while reading the Bible. 

It wasn’t the classic threat of impurity or eternal damnation that 

convinced me though. “So God created man in his own image, in 

the image of God he created him; male and female he created 

them” (Genesis 1:27).

God created woman to reflect his image. But how so? All I 

usually hear about is the Father and Son. One example for a 

biblical female reflection of God is the name Shaddai, which can 

literally translate into the “many breasted one.” Often scholars 

argue the Hebrew word intends to show the compassion of God in 

comparison to a mother for her child. Mother-Father God. 


When I continued to disrespect a fellow image bearer, I myself 

began to twist and pervert my own humanity. It was coming to a 

point where I could no longer see the humanity in others, because I 

was losing what it meant, in my eyes, to be human. When we 

neglect, abuse, or exploit others, we are treating people as though 

they are not human.

But when we offer food to those who are hungry, and shelter to 

those who have no home, we are affirming that they are like us: 

image bearers. We are not God; we will always make mistakes or 

“miss the mark” as the biblical Greek word hamartia describes it. 

But when we try to love others, we are showing God we love him.

(Originally Published September 8 2010 in The Reflector) 

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