Tue 8 Apr 2008
Having grown up in a fundamentalist Baptist church in which even bobbed hair was condemned by some as Satanic, I find it ironic that conservative Muslims resort to the image of the Shaytan to moderate the moral choice of Muslim women’s fashion. There is a slick “Garden of Eden” approach at play in a recent Youtube video featured on Mujahideen Ryder. Check it out.
As for that venal sin of bobbed hair, here is John R. Rice, the spiritual founder of Bob Jones University, holding forth like a salafi mullah:
“Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God. Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered? Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.” (1 Cor. 11:11-15)
Let no woman be discouraged because God insists that she shall take a place of subjection and wear the mark of humility and femininity on her head. It is true that the man was created first and then woman created second as a helpmeet, as we were told in verses 8 and 9 above. But dear woman, be not grieved. Long hair is not a shameful mark. Rather, it is a mark of glory. God did not mean for the man to be without the woman (v. 11). Both are necessary. Each one is a complement for the other. Each is dependent upon the other. And God’s way is the fitting and beautiful and happy way.
Since the meaning is made clear in this passage, I suggest that you take heed to verse 13: “Judge ye in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered?” If bobbed hair means rebellion, if it means a sinful disregarding of a woman’s place, if it flaunts that rebellion in the face of the angels of God and tempts them to sin, if it means that a woman is trying to be masculine and is giving up her feminine beauty, then doesn’t even nature itself teach you that it is comely for a man to have short hair and a woman to have long hair? And isn’t it clear, as verses 14 and 15 say, that long hair for a man is a shame, but for a woman, it is a glory to her? …
Oh, women, what have you lost when you lost your femininity! When you bobbed your hair, you bobbed your character, too. Your rebellion against God’s authority as exercised by husband and father, has a tendency, at least, to lose you all the things that women value most. If you want reverence and respect from good men, if you want protection and a good home and love and steadfast devotion, then I beg you to take a woman’s place! Dress like a woman, not like a man. Have habits like a woman. And if you want God to especially bless you when you pray, then have on your head a symbol of the meek and quiet spirit which in the sight of God is of such great price.
Is it a sin for little girls to have bobbed hair? The Bible does not separately discuss that question as far as I know. But a girl should be subject to her father and should have the “symbol of authority” on her head. In our own home I felt that since my girls would grow to be women, they had better begin to feel like women and act like women. So all of my six daughters have long hair. And how beautiful it is! And when the matter is settled while they are young, and the character is fixed into the lines of womanly behavior and womanly thought and ideals, then I do not expect a great clash and struggle after they are women. Why should not girls be taught that long hair is a glory, as God has said? Why should they not revel in the thought of being women, wives and mothers? Though the Bible gives no separate teaching about girls, it implies clearly that the same rules would apply.
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