The image shown is the cover of Muscle & Fitness Hers magazine, Nov/Dec 2009 edition. I purchased a copy more than a year ago because I had taken up an interest in Figure competition and bodybuilding. Amongst the featured articles on the cover one was titled “Are you D-ficient? The vitamin you need to take”. In summary the editorial talks about vitamin D and the need for it, the role it plays in health, its sources, and suggested daily requirements. What is interesting is that vitamin D is considered to be the sunshine vitamin because human skin creates it from exposure to sunlight. An excerpt from the article reads:
“Vitamin D unlocks the DNA library for every cell in the body. Every single tissue needs it to operate at peak efficiency…”
I always tell my kids to go outside and “get some sun in your eyes” even before I knew about vitamin D and sunlight. Growing up in a tiny city in the south, I spent the majority of my summers outside. Days were rare where I spent the entire day in front of an Atari playstation(yes, you read correctly. I wrote Atari, lol). But now it is common for children and adults alike to spend entire days in buildings that block out a vital necessity from the sun. Too many people rely on manmade products to supply the human system with what can be found in nature. Yet these people make their own choices about actions that are detrimental to their health. For the muslimah, Allah has made the choice that is detrimental to her health by decreeing muslim women to cover and deprive themselves of the natural benefits of the sun.
After reading about the chemical process between skin and sun, I couldn’t help but wonder why Allah would decree for women to veil knowing he created mankind to be dependent on the needs of sunlight for good health. The light of Ash-Shams(the sun) is the force of every living thing on the planet. Were the sun to die so would everything on earth. So why would Muhammad/Allah insist that the best places for a woman to pray are the inner recesses of her home, that women should stay in their homes and not make a wanton display of themselves as the times of jahilliyah, and not have anything seen of them except the face and the hands?
This isn’t about the age-old argument of ‘is hijab required or not’. It is about the apparent oversight of Allah to recognize that females need just as much sunshine as males and that hijab of any form contradicts that. I would imagine that sunshine is even more vital in nursing mothers. Some doctors suggest sitting jaundiced babies in low-level sunlight for a few minutes a day as a natural remedy to jaundice(not blazing heat or direct sunlight). People of African descent have been known to suffer from depression when living in colder temperatures that don’t allow them to receive adequate sunlight. Sick people who stay indoors are known to stay sick longer yet patients who are taken outside for few minutes a day seem to fair better. With all the benefits of sunlight, it is illogical that Allah would mandate deprivation of it for women. What is logical is that the person(s) who made up Allah/Muhammad/Islam would whole-heartedly deprive women of this basic natural need because of their own trivial wants.
Saturday, March 19th marked the first day in at least twelve years that I stepped outside in a short sleeve shirt. Being one day before the first official day of spring, the sun was beaming radiant warmth and my skin joyously soaked in the rays that it had been missing. Leaving the house without sleeves was not as traumatic as my first venture without hijab but it still felt odd. Basking in the sun soon rid me of whatever remaining feelings of trepidation that lingered, as the healing powers of sunlight remove the scars left from the disease of Islam.
So the benefits of my apostasy is that I can wear shorts, tank tops, sundresses, and sandals and know that there is reward in showing some skin as opposed to a sin of not covering it up. I can wear regular swimsuits to the pool. Therefore I will not go to a pool looking like a wannabe Navy S.E.A.L. by wearing a burqini. I will no longer wear hot, long sleeved shirts when I go running but I will relish in wearing the latest color-coordinated spandex workout clothes. The only reason I will deprive myself of sunshine is to ward off mosquitos, decency laws, dress codes, weather, or other practical reasons. I will not think about shaytans sitting on the horizon as the sun rises but appreciate the beauty and life it brings with another day.